Every week we’ll be sharing favorite photos we’ve come across in putting together our various publications and the DMN website. These photos won’t necessarily be the newest or the most newsworthy, in any kind of chronological order, or even an equal representation of each service. They are photos that sometimes depict important events, sometimes illustrate the everyday service of men and women in the armed forces, and sometimes just struck us as being great compositions or arresting images. For this edition we turn the spotlight on special operations forces, who prefer the shadows, but also all too often go unrecognized for their achievements.
Top 10 Shots: Special Operations Forces Edition
A U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey from the 8th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt Field, Fla., flies a night mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan. U.S. Army photo Soldiers from the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) cut an entry-point into a wire fence during a building-clearing exercise in Baghdad, Iraq. Special Forces Soldiers have a unique arsenal of equipment at their disposal to keep prepared for a variety of situations. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Michael Blackwell II A U.S. service member with Special Operations Task Force-South provides security overwatch during a routine patrol Maiwand district, Kandahar province, Afghanistan, April 1, 2011. The SOTF-South team conducts regular patrols in order to bolster security and disrupt insurgent activity. U.S. Army photo Afghan National Policemen and U.S. Special Forces engage insurgents on the far side of a canal while pulling security near the village of Hyderabad, Gereshk district, Helmand province Dec. 3, 2010. A combined force totaling more than 350 international troops emplaced a Dry Support Bridge (DSB) across a canal near a Forward Operating Base in the area. The DSB is the first of it's kind to be emplaced in Afghanistan. U.S. Marine photo by Sgt. Brian Kester A U.S. Air Force Special Operations weather technician, attached to Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan, conducts an assessment of the Helmand River near Staging Area Tinsley, Uruzgan province, Afghanistan, April 23, 2011. DoD photo Students from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/s) Class 287 participate in night gear exchange during the second phase of training at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, Calif. During this evolution, two students entered the water and exchanged dive gear with masks that have been completely blackened. The Navy SEALs are the maritime component of U.S. Special Operations Forces and are trained to conduct a variety of operations from the sea, air and land. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kyle D. Gahlau A crew chief from the U.S. Army Special Operations Aviation Command shoots simulated rounds during a a capabilities exercise for members of the local populace in Fayetteville, N.C. May 2. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michael R. Noggle An Australian special operations soldier on overwatch at Gizab, Afghanistan. The Taliban was ousted from a northern Oruzgan town and local government restored thanks to a community uprising supported by Australian Special Forces soldiers and their Afghan partner force, the Provincial Police Reserve (PPR). In the northern Oruzgan town of Gizab, 10 members of the Taliban were confirmed to have been killed in a series of firefights commencing on April 21, which saw the SOTG, the PPR, and locals take on the insurgents who were intimidating the population through violence. Australian Defence Force photo International Security Assistance Force Special Operations Forces soldiers provide security while a road maintenance team checkpoint is being built in Tagab, Afghanistan, Nov. 26, 2010. Afghan civilians, RMT members, ISAF SOF and Afghan National Police-Provincial Response Company members all helped to build the checkpoint. ISAF photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Joseph Swafford Airmen assigned to the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron fly an HH-60 Pave Hawk Feb. 9, 2011, over Afghanistan. U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Erick Saks A Coalition Special Operations soldier, assigned to Special Operations Task Force-West, patrols villages around Mirmandab, Afghanistan, April 7, 2011. U.S. Army photo Sgt. 1st Class Marcus Quarterman Polish special operations soldiers from the 1st Special Forces Regiment secure a stairwell during a culmination exercise in Trzebien, Poland, Aug. 4, 2010. The soldiers are participating in a partnership development program between Polish, Croatian and U.S. Army special operations units. DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Isaac A. Graham, U.S. Army Naval Special Warfare 11-meter rigid-hull inflatable boats (RHIB) transit the Pamlico Sound to a live-fire training range near Piney Island, N.C. The Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen who operate the 11-meter RHIBS fired .50-caliber machine guns and MK-19 grenade launchers as part of a training exercise preparing for an upcoming deployment supporting the Global War on Terror. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robyn Gerstenslager U.S. and Polish Special Operations Forces soldiers move across a field to their objective as a Lithuanian Mi-17 helicopter hovers above during a training scenario held Oct. 14, 2010 at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels, Germany. U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Donald Sparks A U.S. Special Forces Soldier assigned to Special Operations Task Force-South sets up his security position during a patrol Feb. 25, 2011 in Panjwai District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. The SOTF-South Special Forces team in the area conducts regular patrols in order to bolster security as well as to meet with area villagers to assess development projects. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ben Watson