Archive for September 3, 2011
The Things They Carried
U.S. Army Specialist Robert Carabia patrols Qalat City, Afghanistan on Friday (Sept. 2). Carabia, a member of the Massachusetts National Guard, is a rifleman assigned to the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Zabul’s security force.
In this photo he appears to be carrying an M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW). The SAW is a one-man, light machine gun that can fire up to 760 rounds per minute. Two are usually issued to an eight-10–man infantry squad. You can see the SAW’s bi-pod is folded up beneath the barrel. On top there is a handle for carrying the 16.5-pound automatic weapon one-handed.
If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can see some of the other soldier’s tools he carries: a belt of 5.56 millimeter bullets around his neck, a water bottle on his left side and an automatic pistol tucked into a pocket on his right. He also appears to be carrying shotgun shells in the webbing of his protective vest. We believe the gizmo on his helmet is a sensor, but anybody out there with ground knowledge, feel free to set us straight.
PRT Zabul would not be able to safely venture outside its base (Forward Operating Base Smart) and meet with local Afghan leaders without the security force, known as the SECFOR.