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David vs Goliath [the Taliban Vs the US Army]


Travis Beard and David Gill / Argus

75% of all military casualties in Afghanistan now originate from IEDs. The number of incidents involving these deadly devices has increased three-fold in the past two years. The Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, JIEDDO, a semi-secret arm of the Pentagon with an estimated budget of around $6 billion have introduced a dazzling array of sophisticated technological ‘force protection’ equipment. These heavy armored, route clearance and mine detection vehicles have had a huge impact in reducing the casualties in Iraq but Afghanistan is a whole different country both in terms of terrain and the tactics of it’s insurgents. In the other corner of the ring are the Taliban and their cowboy style set up of AK47s and RPGs. All this low cost, light-weight equipment is being transported by $450 Chinese 125cc motorcycles. David Gill & Travis Beard traveled out to the border regions of the Kunar Valley and the badlands of Wardak to see how the respective sides are utilizing their chosen vehicles to gain advantage.


 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257516

US soldier from RCP29 (103rd Mountain Division - Route Clearance Patrol), stands guard outside a Huskie MRAP on a paved road in the Kunar Valley near the Pakistan border.

Asadabad, Kunar, Afghanistan - 10/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257527

A commander and one of his foot soldiers from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit sit on a Chinese motorcycle before they go out on patrol armed with an RPG [rocket propelled grenade]

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257556

The boys of RC29 Mine detection unit and there vehicles at the Jalalabad air base JAF

Jalalabad, FOB Fenty, Nangahar, Afghanistan - 21/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257542

A commander and two foot soldiers from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit armed with an AK47 machine gun out on patrol in the mountains of wardak

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257555

The line of vehicles from RC29 Mine detection unit and there vehicles at the Jalalabad air base JAF

Jalalabad, FOB Fenty, Nangahar, Afghanistan - 21/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257523

Two foot soldiers from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit patrol their area by chinese motorcycle armed with a RPG [rocket propelled grenade]

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257559

Disabled Afghan man walking past MRAP convoy in Wardak Province - March 2009- on patrol with the US 10th Mountain Division in Maidan Shah provincial town centre

Maidan Shah, Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/10/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257538

A sub-commander and foot sioldier from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit with a Chinese motorcycle before they go out on patrol armed with an AK47 machine gun

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257519

two Afghan children bicycle past an RG31 MRAP vehicles from RCP29 (103rd Mountain Division - Route Clearance Patrol), outside a police compound in the Kunar Valley near the Pakistan border.

Asadabad, Kunar, Afghanistan - 10/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257525

A foot soldiers from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit repairs a puncture on his chinese motorcycle armed with AK47 Kalashnikov

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257518

RG31 MRAP vehicle from RCP29 (103rd Mountain Division - Route Clearance Patrol), parked outside a police compound in the Kunar Valley near the Pakistan border.

Asadabad, Kunar, Afghanistan - 10/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257530

Foot soldiers from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit take refuge in the shade to pray

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257522

Afghan motorcyclist drives past an RG31 MRAP vehicle from RCP29 (103rd Mountain Division - Route Clearance Patrol) in the Kunar Valley near the Pakistan border.

Asadabad, Kunar, Afghanistan - 10/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257526

A foot soldiers from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit takes a rest/nap by his chinese motorcycle armed with AK47 Kalashnikov

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257529

A commander and foot soldiers from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit discuss their next operation under the shade of a garden in a safe haven property

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257537

Foot soldiers from the Wardak Mobile Patrol enjoy a meal of ground oven baked potatoes under the shade of a garden in a safe haven property

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257536

Foot soldiers from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit use mobile phones with un-registered sim cards to communicate with other Taliban under the shade of a garden in a safe haven property

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257532

Foot soldiers from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit arrive in town to a warm welcome from locals. Here they repair bikes and replenish supplies before they head out again

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257534

Foot soldiers from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit take their bikes to a mechanic to have their bikes serviced. the mechanics are mobile and can move out to combat positions to service bikes in the field if needed

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257539

A local mechanic services the Taliban bikes. These mechanics are mobile and can move out to combat positions to service bikes in the field if needed

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257551

The front bull-bar of a MRAP with a message to any pedestrians. Later that day an MRAP in the patrol hit a young boy and killed him

Asadabad, Kunar, Afghanistan - 21/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257533

A sub-commander from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit sit on a Chinese motorcycle before he goes out on patrol armed with an AK47 machine gun

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257557

The front view of superseded Humvee at the Jalalabad air base JAF

Jalalabad, FOB Fenty, Nangahar, Afghanistan - 21/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257540

A foot soldier of teenage years from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit with an AK47 machine gun before going out on patrol

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257550

A view of three MRAP is parked out the front of the Police station in Asadabad

Asadabad, Kunar, Afghanistan - 21/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257541

A commander and foot soldier from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit relax in comfort in a village armed with an AK47 machine gun

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257553

From the gun turret of the MRAP looking at the Humvee, that was superseded due to its bad design in regards to IEDs

Asadabad, Kunar, Afghanistan - 21/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257554

Looking through the green tinted armor plated window of the MRAP at other MRAPs in the patrol diving through the tricky mountain roads of Kunar province.

Asadabad, Kunar, Afghanistan - 21/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257531

Foot soldiers from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit watch the road that is frequently patrolled by US convoys

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257535

Two foot soldiers from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit discuss their next operation in the comfort of a safe haven property

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257524

A commander from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit sits with several AK47 Kalashnikovs at his side

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257549

Sgt Smith and the robot that is used to investigate and probe potential IEDs in the field

Asadabad, Kunar, Afghanistan - 21/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257552

The husky mine detector in the patrol diving through the tricky mountain roads of Kunar province.

Asadabad, Kunar, Afghanistan - 21/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257517

An automatic mine detector attached to a Huskie on a Route Clearance Patrol sprays red dye on the ground to mark suspected IEDs. Location - Kunar Valley near the Pakistan border

Asadabad, Kunar, Afghanistan - 10/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257520

a US soldier from 103rd Mountain Division - (Route Clearance Patrol), sifts through dirt looking for an IED on a main road in the Kunar Valley near the Pakistan border.

Asadabad, Kunar, Afghanistan - 10/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257547

Detonators used to set off the rocket that hit the city were discovered later in the day. the message on the screen says: "1 missed call."

Maidan Shah, Wardak, Afghanistan - 20/08/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257521

a US soldier from 103rd Mountain Division - (Route Clearance Patrol), digs through dirt looking for an IED on a main road in the Kunar Valley near the Pakistan border.

Asadabad, Kunar, Afghanistan - 10/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257548

Detonators used to set off the rocket that hit the city were discovered later in the day. the message on the screen says: "1 missed call."

Maidan Shah, Wardak, Afghanistan - 20/08/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257543

A commander from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit armed with an RPG [rocket propelled grenade] out on patrol in the mountains of wardak

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257545

one of many MRAPs transported back to Kabul after being attacked by an IED in the field.

Kabul, Kabul, Afghanistan - 17/08/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257528

A foot soldier of teenage years from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit holding a RPG [rocket propelled grenade]

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257558

one of many MRAPs transported back to Kabul after being attacked by an IED in the field.

Kabul, Kabul, Afghanistan - 17/08/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257544

A foot soldier of teenage years from the Wardak Mobile Patrol Unit armed with an RPG [rocket propelled grenade] out on patrol in the mountains of wardak

Wardak, Maidan Wardak, Afghanistan - 09/09/2009

 

Travis Beard / Argus / Picturetank BET0257546

one of many MRAPs transported back to Kabul after being attacked by an IED in the field.

Kabul, Kabul, Afghanistan - 17/08/2009



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