Yes! That is me on top of the Humvee wearing a mask over my face and goggles to protect me eyes. The weapon in front of me is called a SAW-249, which stands for Squad Assault Weapon and the 249 is the model number. I often carried this weapon with me on every escort and every mission we undertook outside of our gates. I was the most heavily armed soldier on the team of three with 300 rounds and can fire on automatic fire if need be, but wouldn’t be wise since the barrel would warp and melt.
This picture was taken during one of our money run escorts from our base to the Afghanistan bank located in Kabul. With all the dust and fecal matter blowing in up in your face, it was very wise to cover your face to protect it and to hide your identity as much as possible. I can’t say how much money we would help escort, but it required heavy weaponry and happened on a weekly basis. While I was sitting there I got stared at alot by the Afghan nationals as if they were either amazed or trying to figure out why my face was covered. The big problem with me in this position was that I have no protection plate on the Humvee and open to attack. The only positive was wearing the metal plate that surrounded me and could stop an AK-47 round dead center. Thankfully I never got to experience and see if that actually worked, but one officer soldier found out that it did just that earlier into our tour. He wasn’t assigned to our unit, but he was definitely thankfully for being alive.
I can’t tell you how many of these money runs I went on and escorted, but with one escort we were told not to let anyone inside our convoy for obvious reasons. Well, one vehicle attempted to do so and we reminded that driver that wasn’t going to happen when we used our brush guard on the Humvee to knock off his driver side mirror. Of course, he wasn’t too happy about it, but hey we had our orders and we were to follow those orders! I’m pretty sure he never attempted that once again, at least I hope he didn’t because the next time might not be so “nice”.