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Mercenaries Avenue

Synopsis.  John Geddes is one the 50 000 mercenaries or private soldiers who have been contracted by the US Army in Irak or in Afghanistan. A very diverse and erratic but gunpowered army gathering almost 50 different nationalities.

Their mission: to protect businessman, journalists or sensitive location.

Their equipment: desert boots, bulletproof vest, 9mm and Kalachnikov.

Their average payroll: 20 to 30 000 dollars a month.

Their clients: British and American government.

John is a former British Army Warrant Officer who served in the Parachute Regiment and 22 SAS.  In 25 years he has served on many fields. He is now the managing director of a PMC, Private Military Company called RONIN who positioned itslef on a very flourishing market of 10 billion dollars a year. Most of his staff are former Special Air Service (SAS) operatives or professional mercenaries but they could very well be young fellows or adventurers looking for a banner. Just before sending them to zone, they are trained.. in Czech Republic were he settled a center few miles from Praha. For a month they go through all kinds of modules from hostile environment close protection to field firing, suicide bombing attack response etc. For John’s students, mercenariat is a reconversion. But their new life appears to be very dangerous. Contractors are regularly hit in Kabul by suicide or remote bombings. Casualties which are not consolidated in the official stats published by the US Administration. Within the last fourteen months, John has written two novels: ‘Highway to Hell’ about PMC security in Iraq and ‘Spearhead Assault’ about the battle for Goosegreen in the Falkland Islands. He is told to have sold rights of his story to Steven Spielberg.

Mission. Line producer : budget, plan, hire, supervise prost-production under ARTE specs.

Outcomes. 2007. 23 mns. ARTE Reportages/Hamsa Press.

Insight. Not an easy task to track down an ex-SAS in a Czech Rep. deep forest by sunset.

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