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Sniffed out insurgents and bombs under heavy fire as British special forces and Afghan troops raided a Taliban-held hotel in Kabul. 

Footage from the battle in 2012 showed the Belgian Malinois staying calm as commandos scaled an outside wall and hauled him up several floors to bring him into action. 

Sent through direct fire to search for explosives, he was hoisted up the outside of the building several times and also skillfully detected the presence of enemy fighters. 

Despite being injured by three grenade blasts – causing damage to his chest, legs, ears and teeth – he persevered in the seven-and-a-half-hour mission. 

Mali retired from frontline duties after lengthy treatment for injuries sustained in the firefight but is still involved in training. 

Last November the eight-year-old was honoured with a PDSA Dickin Medal – the animal equivalent to the Victoria Cross. His citation reads: “Mali displayed outstanding courage in the face of fire and there is no doubt that his actions throughout the operation were pivotal in breaking an enemy stronghold.” 

Lt Col Abby DuBaree, of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps said: “We are exceptionally proud of him.” Mali’s handler at the time of the battle received the Military Cross.