The many faces of the Afghan National Army

Sleep Anywhere

This US Soldier had been part of a fighting patrol in Southern Afghanistan and been awake for nearly two days.  One of his many jobs was to ride the ATV with all the essential items in a small trailer, like food and water. He also decided to share it around so other members could use it to rest whilst moving.

At one stage during the patrol, he was riding and when they had stopped, he had been told that they were going to be stopped for over an hour he decided to have a quick nap without getting off his ATV.

Some how soldiers develop a skill of “Sleep Anywhere”.

Happy Shooting

A Check For Danger

A US Soldier gets out of his vehicle at dawn to check for Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in his immediate area to make sure that his buddies are safe when they get out of the vehicle. His team had only recently been told that they would be spending up to 15 months in Southern Afghanistan fighting the Taliban. Nearly all of his team were yet to tell their loved ones back home that their deployment had been extended.

What a way to get from A to B.

The Afghanis use many methods of getting around their country and this is one of them. Its called a Jingle truck because the Afghanis put a lot of bells and other decorative items all over the truck and when the trucks travel these desert roads they “Jingle”.  They also load family members, all of the belongings and in some cases their animals in the back and travel the long distances over harsh and unforgiving terrain.

Happy Shooting

Extraction by Chook

Coalition Soldiers move towards the rear of a Chinook helicopter for extraction after conducting operations against the Taliban in Southern Afghanistan.

Life is hard in Afghanistan, even for young children !

The resupply efforts of Coalition Forces in Southern Afghanistan attract local children who would watch from afar, perceivably what they thought was a safe distance, and be amazed and entertained as to what the soldiers were doing. The Children would come in close and watch the soldiers going about their business and when a soldier approached they would run back out into the desert where they knew the soldier would not go and continue to watch what the soldiers were doing for long periods.

The children are dirty and play in the surrounding desert. Once the boys are old enough they will work with family members in the fields planting, maintaining and harvesting crops, digging irrigation ditches by hand or looking after the goat herds that belong to their families. Young girls will remain with their mothers and learn how to run a household.

There are schools in Afghanistan however during the Taliban‘s rule, the Taliban ruled that all schools to be closed, fortunatley there were some schools that did not close however they were not permitted to teach girls, only boys. Now since Coalition Forces have been in Afghanistan there is approximately 8 million boys attending school and approximately 1 million girls attending, and these numbers continually rise There are approximately 8000 schools throughout Afghanistan, unfortunatley in some areas the Taliban attempts, and some times succeeds, to close these schools. Having an education is just one way that a country will develop.

Life is hard in Afghanistan, even for young children.