Helmand province

Happy 242nd Birthday to the United States Marine Corps! Cpl. Chan Lathung, a native of Oakland, Calif., and a crew chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 362, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), scans the surrounding area for insurgent activity during a general support flight over Helmand province, Afghanistan, July 27. The squadron flies several general support flights weekly delivering mail, food and ammunition to troops throughout the area. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Isaac Lamberth)

“During my time on this deployment, I’ve come to really enjoy flying with HMH-362. I’ve been looking for opportunities to really spotlight the squadron since they are to be deactivated once they finish this deployment. The three American flags surrounding the corporal looked so patriotic and made me proud to be a Marine. To me, it showed there are young people in this country still willing to volunteer during wartime and go into harm’s way for their country. The Marine manning a .50 cal on the ramp with three American flags behind him really set off the photo and just screams ‘Merica. It makes one proud to be an American.”

“There is an unofficial saying that if a 53 is bleeding hydraulic fluid, then you know you’re safe, if it isn’t then you’re in trouble. The inside of a CH-53D Sea Stallion is very greasy, slippery and dirty and you’re constantly getting showered in hydraulic fluid. Some of the aircraft in HMH-362 have flown since the Vietnam War and are quite dirty.”

AFGHANISTAN. Helmand Province. May 13, 2007. Corporal Paul Morgan attached to the Grenadier Guards Regiment and Lieutenant Daniel Knowles, a British Officer of the Royal engineers Regiment, in a Taliban trench during a fighting patrol into Taliban territory outside the Delhi Patrol Base.

Photograph: Marco di Lauro/Getty Images


There are 300 beds inside Boost Hospital in Lashkar Gah, Helmand, Afghanistan. Plagued with violence and conflict during the month of August, this hospital has become the epicenter of medical care for the people in and surrounding the Helmand Province. Photojournalist Kadir van Lohuizen captures powerful photos of the patients who occupy these beds, the landscape of Afghanistan, and what we do to provide medical assistance. (Karim Van Lohuizen/Noor) http://bit.ly/2cDz5GU

AFGHANISTAN. Helmand Province. Southern Marja. September 15, 2010. United States Marine, Lance Cpl. Stephanie Robertson, 20, a member of a Female Engagement Team attached to Second Batallian, 6th Marine Regiment, watches ‘Finding Nemo’ on her laptop at a forward operating base for Fox company. Though the overall mission of the FET teams is to engage Afghan women, the female marines are increasingly exposed to small arms fire and improvised explosive attacks while on their patrols to access villages.

Photograph: Lynsey Addario for The New York Times

FN M249S

Got to disassemble and reassemble this thing with permission from my customer who happens to be a friend. The M249 is iconic, though most people who have served and used one seem to hate it; my cousin was a SAW gunner during his tours in the Helmand Province. It’s a gorgeous gun but for the price I’ve kind of gotten turned off from semi-auto belt-feds. (GRH)