The Real Hurt Locker, August 2010
Hunting for Improvised Explosive Devices in deadly Helmand Province in Southern Afghanistan is painstaking and punishing work – but lives depend on it.
I was privileged enough to spend time with on a Counter IED operation this summer. The Governor of Gereshk had requested about 100 soldiers from 1 Scots and the Royal Engineers to remove IEDs from a 1.5-mile stretch of road running out of town along a canal towards an Afghan National Police checkpoint in insurgent-held territory. There had been 3 IED incidents involving civilians along the road, as well as one attack on an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) vehicle. This has made the road impassable and the Afghan police checkpoint unmannable. The plan is for the British unit to clear the road, and use the opportunity to show the Afghans how it’s done.
This series of images show the relentless process of IED clearance in the face of inexplicable danger.