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All photos in this dispatch made on March 1, 2010, at Kandahar Airfield.
US aircraft in Iraq and Afghanistan nearly always fly in pairs (or more), though some Coalition partners will fly in single helicopters.

Pilots Eddins and Murphy rolled out to the taxiway and got in queue for takeoff.  At the front of the queue are a couple commercial jets, then the Reaper, then some kind of electronic warfare machine, then Murphy and Eddins in their Warthogs.  This is just a pinhole view of Kandahar Airfield.  There are more helicopters here than in Apocalypse Now.  Captain Kristen Duncan and I watched dozens and dozens of aircraft take off and land.  Name it.  Everything from 747s to Stealth UAVs come in here.  Afghan, British, Canadian, Danish, Dutch, Belgian—the list keeps going.

Eddins and Murphy finally rolled away and took off to cover the British Royal Welsh.

The sun set but the war kept going.

Later that night, Captain Duncan and I went back to the A-10s.  Lt Cols Eddins and Murphy returned with all their bombs and bullets.  Two other Warthogs were prepared to slip into the night.

Everything was checked.

Rechecked and rechecked.

Finally it was time.

The Warthogs flew away under a big moon, which leaves us with one final thought.  When the moon is this bright, you can use a signal mirror to alert the Warthog pilots of your position.  Something to keep in mind.


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