31 May 2007

Alpha Company, 10th Mountain Division at Korengal Outpost in Afghanistan - Updated

Photographer Chad Hunt sends the link to this NBC News video, Waiting for the Taliban. Featured is Captain Jim McNight and the soldiers of the 10th Mountain, Alpha Company at Korengal Outpost (KOP) in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.

Watch the video.

One of Chad's photos of CPT McNight in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.

CPT McNight is on his second tour to Afghanistan and was also involved in the surge into Baghdad in 2003. You can read more about the impressive work of McNight and the other 10th MTN soldiers at KOP in this interview at the Saratogan.com:

"The people here are scared of the enemy. The Taliban are a group of terrorists. They've always imposed their law through corporal punishment and then reassert themselves in the same way, McKnight said. There have been civilians murdered and beaten for helping the Afghan National Army in my area. That's what terrorists do. They kill one to scare 1,000." (...)

"We do see the Taliban regularly because we are in the enemy's safe haven," McKnight said. "Our outpost is like the final insult to Taliban insurgents that remain in Afghanistan." (...)

"It's war, and it's dangerous and, yes, I've lost soldiers. But, for the most part, we don't think of ourselves in danger on a daily basis. I'm the one with the air support, supplies and intelligence that updates by the minute. The enemy has none of that stuff. Sure, we're afraid sometimes, but I'm afraid of letting my dad drive a standard transmission, too."

You should also visit Chad's blog where he has more photos and stories about his embed with the 10th MTN, of which he has said, "I can’t begin to explain how this experience has changed me."

"One of the strongest memories I have of the trip was when I took this picture.
We were taking cover as we called in mortars and artillery on a enemy position on the side of the mountain. I felt like the stars were going to drip out of the sky they were so bright."

If you're in the upstate New York area, Chad has two gallery openings coming up, one at the Center for Photography at Woodstock and the other at the Kingston Museum of Contemporary Arts. Chad will be at both of the openings (June 2 and June 9), so check the link for complete information.

I met Chad through FlagGazer, who contacted me about Chad's fellow photographer John McHugh, recently wounded in Afghanistan. John is now recovering back home in London.

Update: Another great photo of CPT McKnight from Chad, who also tells me McKnight's parents will be at the opening on Saturday.

CPT Jim McKnight

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