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In retrospect I wish I would have adjusted to avoid the pole holding up the tarp, but the moment came quickly and I didn't have time.
Here, some Afghan police, who live in a giant pile of dirt with holes and sandbags to create protection from weekly attacks, are performing a common post-battle ritual. In the summer months, when temperatures can easily break 120 degrees F from 10am through 5pm, these men have no relief from the heat other than a few tarps strung across poles. Without the 'camelbak' hydration systems and multiple canteens common to western armed forces, these policemen often operate in the summers with a couple containers of water shared among the whole squad. When they find themselves in battle with local insurgents, it is only a matter of a few minutes before heat exhaustion begins to set in. One of the things they do to combat this, is what you see in the picture. After a short battle with insurgents this afternoon, these men returned to their strongpoint to recover. While the men can rest, the commander must continue to lead and coordinate efforts with those men who stayed behind defending their position. In order to help keep him 'in the game', they always have a jug of water on hand, rationed from the little "clean" water they have", to pour over his head upon returning.
Here, the tired policemen look on as their commander receives his 'air conditioning' before he goes to meet with the local American forces, and pass on the information from his recent battle, all while coordinating the continued base defense with those men on duty on the perimeter.