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I think he's got my eyes.

It's easier to make things out when he/she was wiggling around, but this is the new Siglet:




Pretty cool, huh?

Sig

Heavy metal

Heavy metal

This was known to us only as "the EOD truck," EOD being Explosive Ordnance Disposal a.k.a. the bomb-lickers, but it appears to be a Cougar HEV in the 6x6 configuration. All I know is that it was filled with fun toys for girls and boys and that it was extraordinarily heavy.

Sig

The men in black

The men in black

In this picture, the Towers and I are, well, standing around in front of a humvee. I was the only American on the base who shaved regularly. Note also my stylish and non-regulation headgear, knitted by some nice lady in Florida and sent in a care package that ended up in a place I happened to be when I needed a warm cap.

Ready to go

Ready to go

LLVI Team 1 as it was composed about five minutes before we boarded the chopper to head out on our first mission, the infamous Operation Wayward Donkey. You may note that none of us were wearing ACUs. Only a few of us had them, and we didn't yet have any patches to wear on them (e.g. name tapes, etc.). The world's finest military supply system at work.

You may also note that everyone but me had an M9 pistol. I was technically the most junior ranked--yes, even including yonder peach-fuzzed youth on the far right. Each mission, we would go out with one less pistol than we had the mission before, since the fobbits apparently needed them more than guys who actually went into the field. I carried several different pistols throughout the year, but I was never issued my own--other people got tired of carrying theirs, and I was happy for the extra hardware, especially when I started carrying the SAW.

From left: Sig, Smallville, That One Guy, The Basstid, and Big Red.

Sig

Canadian LAV-III

Canadian LAV-III

This is one of the Canadian LAV-IIIs we worked alongside during the last few weeks of operations before we started packing up to head home. They are the same basic platform as our Stryker vehicles. These ones all mounted the 25mm Bushmaster cannon, among other various and sundry implements of destruction. One of them was kind enough to give our Humvee a nudge when we had become stuck in the mud and the column was leaving us behind. Since RPGs were landing less than 100m to our rear, it was a matter of some urgency and excitement.

This was taken on or about Thanksgiving Day 2006. We blew the crap out of some bad guys and then went back to base for turkey and stuffing.

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Frustrated Cargo

Frustrated Cargo

From rear left: Sig, Smallville, Big Red
From front left: Basstid, our nameless Interpreter.
Not pictured: that other guy on our team.

Frustrated cargo is cargo which has for whatever reason been abandoned at a location with no point of contact or destination, if I understand correctly. It's in purgatory. We knew we weren't in purgatory, of course--it was too hot for that. We were in Jalalabad, on the way back from Operation Wayward Donkey: about halfway between purgatory and Hell.

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Valley view

Valley view

It's just about impossible to really grasp the scale of this place. I knew even when I was taking the pictures that they were not going to do it justice. You're going to have to take my word for it--the mountains are big.

This was taken from our first OP above Naray, on Operation Wayward Donkey. SSG Smallville is the one admiring the view.

Sig

Infidel

Infidel

A CH-47 Chinook from WA state brought us to our first mission in Naray. There wasn't much in the way of colorful nose art for the birds in theater, but this one was clever and just a little irreverent. The crew all had patches with this design on their helmet; as the chief said, "That's what they consider us anyway, so we might as well own it."

Sig

The weather in Hell

The weather in Hell

LLVI logo

LLVI logo

Alternate text options:

"SIGINT: Danger Close"

"Keeping your boring stupid secrets since 2005"

"For the love of all that is holy and right in the universe, stop talking."

Or the unofficial LLVI motto: "Listen. Tell. Run like hell."

Sig

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