The pictures below are from a routine patrol that took place in the Nad’ Ali district of Helmand province recently. The patrol, from the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment went out to resupply another Platoon of troops in a nearby compound with water and rations when they came under fire from a couple of Taliban positions.
These routine patrols are just one example of the various tasks that the troops carry out on an almost daily basis and are vital in allowing the troops to continue to operate in this environment. The ‘contact’, as an engagement with the enemy is known, came and went without injury to British troops and the resupply went ahead as normal.
A British soldier makes a dash into cover as a GPMG (General Purpose Machine Gun) crew lay down covering fire from the base of a compound wall as Taliban insurgents open fire.
A GPMG gunner gestures to fellow troops to move past him during the contact.
Troops move along a ditch into the relative safety provided by a compound wall as Taliban fighters continue to engage the patrol.
A British soldier peers over a ditch to try and identify Taliban positions.
A British soldiers scans the treeline for sign of the Taliban.
The GPMG crew move hastily from their position at the foot of a compound wall as the troops prepare to continue with the patrol.
Having reached the compound where the resupply was to take place soldiers scan a treeline for signs of the enemy through a door of a compound.
A soldier rests against the cracked mud wall of a compound immediately after the firefight.
As darkness falls soldiers from the patrol take time to rest before the return journey to their base after the resupply of food and water to another Platoon.
As the soldiers rest in the relative safety of the compound after the firefight with Taliban fighters their attention turns to the England World Cup football match that has just kicked off.
Keeping hydrated – troops take on water as they rest and listen to the England match on a radio in the compound following the firefight with Taliban fighters .
I am currently working on a multimedia piece from this patrol and hope to have it up on the blog soon.