Unseen Image "Tension" / by Dawn Webb

Continuing with a set of images completely unseen by anyone other than myself, that I have taken during my time as a photographer in the British Army.

This image conjurs up memories of the day I thought my time and luck was about to run out.

We were driving along in a Mastiff armoured personnel carrier, 2 miles South of Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital of Helmand province, Afghanistan in 2009.

We had reports come over the radio that an IED team laying a device has been sighted along the route we were travelling, I was sat in the front with just my camera feeling quite hopeless.

The tension amongst the rest of the troops was on the edge, the temperature inside the vehicle was +40C even with the aircon running - bottled water was almost non palatable and all we could do was wait for the boom of the IED beneath us, the driver that day - forgive me as I forgot his name had his eyes peeled, looking for the tiniest of signs that could give away anything untoward and out of the ordinary.  the concentration on his face, hardly blinking be hassled from the commander sat in the back asking what he could see....report anything out of the ordinary. Everyone else sat in complete silence, going through personal thought process's that one does in a moment like this. You learn to rely heavily on the team around you and let those in charge get on and do their job. Sounds easy huh? try doing that in a busy bustling area such as Lashkar Gah - I guess the only consolation for us was "the fact it was busy" meaning this is normal!?

I fired this single frame off showing the difficulties in the drivers environment, the cramped conditions and the amount of equipment we would carry inside our vehicles. Looking closer you see the commander sat in the rear, normal we would swap positions but being a vehicle commander before I was left to carry on as normal up front in the prime position acting as both eyes and ears to the remainder.

Luckily I am still here......