Steve Heaney, a former military parachutist awarded the coveted Military Cross for his courage and leadership during an attack by rebel forces in Sierra Leone, is landing at The Beacon, Wantage, on Sunday, November 1 to talk about his time with this shadowy force.
From anti-narcotics operations in the Guatemalan jungles, hunting war criminals in the war-torn hills of the Balkans, and being sent to war against the Russian military, to calling in the largest parachute-borne force since the Second World War, Heaney was at the cutting edge of X Platoon operations.
In 2000, he was the Pathfinder Platoon Sergeant of 26 men from X Platoon deployed in Sierra Leone. The group were tasked with evacuating locals from the brutal Revolutionary United Front (RUF) – a murderous rebel organisation famed for amputating the limbs of men, women and children.
As the rebels targeted villagers on May 17, 2000, Heaney courageously controlled the battle and went on to become the first non-officer in the unit’s illustrious history to receive the MC.
Heaney, who joined the British Army as a boy soldier in 1986, details his adventures in his second book, X-Platoon, which he co-wrote with war correspondent Damien Lewis. Lewis will be also be appearing at the Beacon and will be interviewing Heaney about his experiences.
More recently a senior military advisor to one of Britain’s key allies, Heaney left the military in 2001. He has also delivers speeches on motivation, leadership, team building and moral and physical courage – applying his military values to the business environment.
The Beacon, Wantage. Sunday, November 1. 4pm. Tickets: £6
Click here to book online via Tickets Oxford.
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