Patrol

Smoke
Smoke is used to call in a Helicopter for extraction from an operation

Alone

A Soldier sits and reflects

Coming Home
Soldiers board a C-17 for our flight home

Angels on our shoulders

An Army Air Corps Apache Longbow provides close air support during an operation

Stare

Shura

A Weekly “shura” with local elders in which we discuss projects for the community, security issues and local problems

Dove

A Soldier receives a dove statuette from his Girlfriend

Arm Wrestling
To mark the London Olympics (which we missed), we held out own “Patrol Base Olympics”

Osprey

A US Marine Corps Osprey lands at the Patrol Base

A young soldier prepares to go out on patrol

The young point man (front guy) of our multiple, carrying a shotgun for the close terrain in the maize fields, and IED detection equipment.

Dust

A Royal Air Force Merlin helicopter lands at the PB with supplies and personnel

A Soldier takes a break during an operation

On the way back

A Soldier sits in the back of a Chinook following an operation

A Sniper walks with a local boy

Halcyon

The sun rises over the walls of the Patrol Base.

Kind eyes

An Afghan Policeman

Crossing point

A local child watches as kit-laden soldiers struggle to cross an irrigation stream. Bridges are avoided as they are often booby-trapped by the Taliban.

Normality

A Soldier gets a haircut outside the Patrol Base’s makeshift shop

Some days it’s harder to be away from home

A Platoon Sergeant opens mail from home to reveal a Father’s day card from his young son.

Difficult for us all

A search dog shows the strain of working in such harsh conditions.

Poppies
A Royal Air Force Chinook lands in a poppy field to extract us after an Operation

Reflection
A soldier rests during a patrol

Sanctuary

A soldier finds shelter from the summer heat

Chaos

Afghan Policemen pull a wounded colleague to safety

Shock
A soldier rests after a patrol

Victory

Victory cigars after a successful operation
Arcs
The view through my Rifle Sight
Overwatch

A Soldier overwatches friendly forces

Things that go bump in the night
A Mortar fires during the night

Warrior Brother

An Afghan policeman

The hardest route is the safest route
A soldier struggles to carry a GPMG through a deep irrigation ditch
Lightning
Lightning strikes the camera tower at the Patrol Base

Checkpoint
A Soldier stands guard outside a checkpoint

Sleeping lions

Soldiers catch a moment of sleep during hectic predeployment exercises

The hardest day
Hours before I took this photo on our final predeployment training exercise, we received word that 6 of our colleagues who had deployed ahead of us had been killed in an IED strike.

A Platoon Sergeant takes a cigarette break outside the Operations room on a predeployment training exercise