Just after 7:20pm on a Bank Holiday Monday evening in May 1980 former Royal Artillery bombardier Rusty Firmin stepped into the history books.
The occasion was, of course, Operation NIMROD and Rusty was the gloveless NCO leading Blue Team from B Squadron of 22 SAS in the dramatic mission which rescued 19 out of 20 hostages held by six gunman inside the Iranian Embassy in London. In 2010, at the time of the 30th anniversary of what many consider to be the most iconic counter-terrorism operation of the modern era, Rusty co-authored Go! Go! Go! which was a highly detailed account of the rescue.
Next Monday (20th July 2015) his next book will be published but, other than in one chapter, Op NIMROD does not feature as this account first chronicles his path through life and the British Army until he joined ‘The Regiment’ then focuses on those fifteen years out of his 27 year career which he served with the Special Air Service. Running out to close on 300 pages, the book covers previously seldom mentioned missions in Northern Ireland and the proposed ‘suicide’ mission to insert two C-130 Hercules transport aircraft full of SAS Troopers and ‘Pink Panther’ SIIa Land Rovers behind enemy lines on the Argentinean half of Tierra del Fuego to take out Super Etendard aircraft and Exocet missiles during the Falklands Conflict in 1982.
Today Rusty has put soldiering, and Private Military Contracting, behind him as he concentrates on helping injured soldiers through the Pilgrim Bandits Forces Charity, of which he is an ambassador. This morning COMBAT & SURVIVAL Magazine visited Rusty’s farmhouse to chat to him about his new book, the past and the future. We will run both the exclusive interview and a review of THE REGIMENT – 15 Years In The SAS starting in the September issue of the magazine which hits UK newsstands on 13th August and continuing in the October issue (on sale 10th September).
The hardback version of Rusty’s new book ( ISBN: 9781472811318 ) is officially published by Osprey Publishing on Monday 20th and stocks should be in the bookshops next week, but online orders are being taken now.