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The Bremer Detail: Protecting the Most Threatened Man in the World Paperback – Sep 30 2014
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Frank Gallagher is a very likeable, down to earth, guy who tells it like it is. I found it fresh that a military tough guy ends many sentences with exclamation points! I'm having major surgery in a week and nothing could keep me from worrying about it until this book arrived. It totally caught me off guard and the story is compelling, entertaining, and Frank (haha, see what I did there??). I doubt many women (like myself) would even think to give this book a second glance, but if you're a history/military buff and buy this book, please dare your wife (daughter/sister/girlfriend) to read the first two chapters of this book. I bet she'll get as drawn in as I did, and learn a few interesting things along the way.
As an aside, I want to thank Frank and John Del Vecchio, all the military and non military contractors who answer the call of adventure and risk their future to protect America and our assets and our people. And a special thank you to the families who also wait patiently and anxiously for their loved ones to come home.
I finished this in one night.
And also not worrying about my surgery. It's nothing compared to life in Baghdad!!
Those not familiar with Blackwater they were known to take on high risk security contracts and only hired the best former military and law enforcement people to work for them. They included ex-Army special force people, ex-Marines, ex-SEALs, air force special operations people and some Law enforcement SWAT officers. This particular detail (The Bremer Detail: Protecting the most threatened man in the world) was led by the author (Frank Gallagher) who is an ex-Marine Recon and expert in security details. He had also worked as director of security to former U.S. secretary of State, Dr. Henry Kissinger.
One of the reasons I liked this book is how the author presented the material. It was straight forward as if you were having a personal conversation with him. The numerous difficulties involved in organizing and insuring everything ran smoothly in protecting Paul Bremer makes this an interesting and highly informative read. These are highly trained professionals who all took their job seriously and made sure they were in top physical and mental shape. The numerous problems the author had in this assignment and how he solved each one makes for an interesting read.
If you are interested in how top notch security people operate, you should read this book. It provides important and practical information from a true expert in the field. A good read.
Rating: 4 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Advanced PR-24 Police Baton Techniques).
The original mission was supposed to be three months in duration which actually turned into a year. In this book, Gallagher discusses the need for a highly specialized security unit, the men he hired, and includes a lot of anecdotal information surrounding this well oiled security machine and the complexities of keeping someone as threatened as Bremer safe, not to mention the team assembled safety.
Not everyone in the team was suited for their roles, and Gallagher discusses men being cut and men being brought in as the mission continued. Many stories abound and make for interesting and frightening reading.
I was a bit taken back by how easily I was sucked into this story. It made for fascinating reading and opened my eyes to not only the role this team played and the need for special security detail, but it also made me look at the real threat of terrorism as it spreads globally.
This is a most interesting book that I thoroughly enjoyed.
The author has a healthy skepticism for invasion and occupation, disbanding the Iraqi army, and Blackwater HQ, but puts all of that aside to conduct himself professionally and execute a difficult mission in a hostile environment, while being monday morning quarterbacked from thousands of miles away. The author also has to deal with several dozen prima donna ex SF-types and various poseurs and wannabes whom he commands (and frequently sends home). The author accomplishes the entire mission without his team firing a single shot.
I enjoyed Gallagher's straightforward account of the successes, frustrations, and failures during his time in Iraq. The mission that started as a 30 day stint away from home became a year of grueling duty in the desert. He shares stories of those he worked with, both the professionalism and the camaraderie they shared. But he also tells of those who didn't make it and washed out for various reasons. The frustrations with the politics and bureaucracy of the organization also shines through in parts.
As someone who has worked in various security positions, I especially liked Gallagher's insistence on professionalism, and how he was proud of the mission. He had this to say about it, “I again reminded myself that we had not lost the ambassador, had not had a member of the team killed or injured, and we had not fired a single shot or killed or injured anyone in the course of our mission. I was satisfied and proud.” He couldn't say that about the rest of the Blackwater details, and he was quick to point out the difference with his detail and those others, and how they often wanted to associate with the Bremer Detail as it was known for setting the standard. And the standards were not those of gun slinging "Rambos," but rather professionals who protected their principle without blazing gunfire.
Sure, the book is told from Gallagher's point of view, and he admits there were many who didn't like him, so they might disagree. But that's the case with any memoir. The book is endorsed by Bremer who says Gallagher and his team literally saved lives, including his. It is a quick engaging read, and I'd recommend it to anyone wanting to know about the role of the top Blackwater team in Iraq, or just about executive protection in general.
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