Early in 2010 we will bringing you the Raid title Certain Death in Sierre Leona - The SAS and Operation Barras 2000. This was the rescue operation launched by the SAS (part of the United Kingdom\'s Special Forces), to rescue a group of Royal Irish Regiment soldiers who had been captured by a gang of rebel forces. The rebels, who went by the colourful name of the West Side Boyz, also captured some WMIKs, which were being used by the Royal Irish.

WMIK stands for Weapons Mount Installation Kit and is the armour added on to an ordinary Land Rover and used by the British Army in a number of theatres. The result is anything but ordinary - a rear roll bar cage where a gunner can stand and swivel his weapon through a 360 degree arc of fire on a rail, the weapon in question often either a .50cal or 7.62mm GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun). A missile launcher can also be fitted and a second GPMG can be fitted to the front passenger side on a pintle mount for extra support. Although these weapons pack quite a punch it is still relatively lightly armoured meaning it is quick and is perfect for recce or fast hit and run ops. Of course, there is little protection again IEDs and several have been hit in Afghanistan over the last couple of months.

I was recently at an Army show where they had a WMIK on display and as they were packing up at the end of the day they let me take it for a spin round a nearby field. I thought it was going to be quite tricky at first with its huge steering wheel and long gear stick but it was surprisingly easy, and it certainly was fast, until I was told to reign it in a bit!

Unfortunately I don\'t have any photos from the day but we will have several never-before seen photos in our Raid title and in case you were wondering the WMIKs in question were retrieved by the SAS along with the hostages during one of the most successful military rescue operations to date.