Executive Outcomes was light years ahead of it's time. Founded by Eeben Barlow, EO conducted operations against UNITA rebels in Angola, RUF butchers in Sierra Leone, and even mounted a successful, if little known, hostage rescue mission in Indonesia. Sadly, South African, British, and American intelligence agencies didn't take too kindly to EO successfully pulling off combat operations on a shoe string budget. No, they preferred that their own Private Military Companies or UN Proxies failed at the same job for twenty times the cost!I've been fortunate to correspond with a number of former EO men and have always been pleasantly surprised at how down to earth they are. They are also very loyal to Mr. Barlow to this day, which I think speaks volumes about what kind of man he must be. My buddy Michael Da Silva let me borrow this picture of the boys test firing their commando mortar in Angola back in the day. As Michael would say, if you look carefully, you can see the 60mm round leaving the tube at "snot speed."
After digging around some more I did chance across another former employee who filled me in one the origins of this unique weapon. He wishes to remain anonymous so I will respect that. Here is the inside scoop:
"It is a standard Russian 60mm. We removed the base plate. Wrapped sacking around the tube, fitted a pies of old car tyre over the gimble to act as a base plate. This was used as a patrol mortar. Very good in contact and if you use it enough and become proficient it was deadly in fire and movement. We also put a para cord sling around the tube so it could be slung on ones back. The sacking acted as cammo as well as stopping your hand [from] getting burnt. We could on a good day have 4 (mortar rounds) in the air before to first landed. And that was done on the run [and] under fire."