Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Well this was an interesting evening.... It has begun to get cold at night. This evening had clear sky's (Most do so far anyway) and about an 8 mile per hour wind fairly constant for the last three hours. We were called out to do a checkpoint so of course that is what we did. In Afghanistan, very few honest people move after 10:00 pm or 2200 hours. In this case we saw no one at all moving. The following are some pictures I have been trying to get out here for you all to see.

This is the desert north of the Farah River, river is RUD in Afghanistan. This looks very flat in the picture and in person. However there are gullies or wadis out here that swallow up a HMMWV quite nicely.











You can see for about 8 to 10 Kilometers in any direction in this spot, which is one reason it is more peaceful than the eastern portions of the country. There are far less places to gain cover or concealment.










This soldier is about 20, he is a pretty good guy, I don't know his name, but he has a good sense of humor and typically does his job in a fine fashion. He is holding a new rifle similar to the RPK that arrived the other day. We received a couple of these. No one here knew how they worked. They were shrink wrapped in plastic, and had never been fired. We fixed that. They feed from right to left, which is odd to me. It fires a 7.62 mm round with quite a lot of powder to it, similar to a .308 caliber machine gun if you will.



This is a Coochie tribe group of tents. It is about 1 kilometer from an established village, and in this case it is established enough that they have built permanent buildings in addition to their tents.
The stones may have been a bridge at one time I am not sure. This picture was taken from a river bed that has been dry for a couple of years now.








This is taken from the same spot as the previous picture but in the other direction. You can see that you can barely make out the mountains in the distance. Our mission here was to make sure our fellow soldiers could leave with out being mined on the way out. Unlike the desert which is mostly flat and needs no roads at all, this terrain is canalized and your movement is completely predictable





This is taken in the river bed. The ridge line shown covers approximately 500 meters on each side, so the two soldiers on the top of the ridge have secured quite a chunk of real estate.










This picture is the most water I have seen in one place since I arrived. it is a shallow 6 inch deep or less spot in the river bed. Apparently it has a good supply of water, as there are thousands of little fingerling in here jumping all over. I took this picture as we came back from securing the route to a weapons cache. Fortunately the day was uneventful from a violence perspective.

1 comment:

Karen Soleiman said...

Hi Keith!
Really liked this pics! This countryside is very similar to where my family and I live in the Antelope Valley, except we have a little more vegetation such as sage brush.
Your letters are wonderful! We all look forward to them. Please take care of yourself. I send good thoughts and prayers to you.
Love, Karen