Note: All pics taken between April 15–22.

U.S. Army National Guard Spc. Timothy Shout, a native of Austin, Texas, scans the nearby ridgeline along with other members of the Provincial Reconstruction Team Kunar Security Force element, following an engagement with anti-Afghan forces. Shout is deployed from Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 143rd Infantry (Airborne) out of Austin, Texas. The unit took small-arms fire from a nearby mountain top during a routine patrol, and was able to suppress the enemy with the assistance of local Afghan National Security Forces.

Spc. Jacob Tippmann, infantryman with Company C, 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, Task Force 2-28, 172nd Infantry Brigade, scans an adjacent hilltop outside of Forward Operating Base Tillman. Located just 3.5 kilometers from the border, the terrain around Tillman is some of the most rugged, remote and hostile terrain in Paktika Province Afghanistan. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Charles Crail, 172nd Infantry Brigade, Task Force Blackhawk.

Spc. Donald Myers (left), Pfc. Samuel Schultz (center) and SPC Chaz Smith (right), infantrymen from Company B, 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade, bring their 120mm Mortar to bear against an insurgent rocket team at Forward Operating Base Kushamond. Responding to a single inaccurate rocket the insurgents used to announce the Spring Fighting Season, April 15, the mortar team’s accurate counter fire destroyed additional rockets before the could be fired. Follow on close air support was able to spot and kill the insurgent rocket team. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Charles Crail, 172nd Infantry Brigade, Task Force Blackhawk

Sgt. 1st Class Raja Richardson, platoon sergeant with Company C, 3rd Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, Task Force 2-28, 172nd Infantry Brigade, leads a patrol across a ridgeline outside of Forward Operating Base Tillman. Located just 3.5 kilometers from the border, the terrain around Tillman is some of the most rugged, remote and hostile terrain in Paktika Province Afghanistan. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Charles Crail, 172nd Infantry Brigade, Task Force Blackhawk

A paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team teaches Afghan boys how to do the “fistbump” April 22, 2012, in southern Ghazni province, Afghanistan. The soldier is part of a patrol securing Highway 1, the country’s main highway between Kabul and Kandahar. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod)