Humanitarian assistance arrival

Soldiers from 17th Fires Brigade and 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, arrive by air and convoy to assist the Iraqi Army distribute humanitarian aid to the citizens of Faddaqhryah and Bahar in the Basra Province of Iraq, Aug. 18.


U.S. Army photo by Spc. Maurice A. Galloway, 17th Fires Brigade, Public Affairs Specialist


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Soldiers provide goods, goodwill to Iraqi villages


  • tylerdurden1 6y

    great shot!
  • Jeff S 6y

    too bad it's shot at f/22, look at the amount of dust!
  • Jeff Lamm PRO 6y

    2nd Brigade, does that include the 12 Infantry regiment? I was 3/12 back in the day....
    In any event, good job men
  • Rodrigo 6y

    after kill innocent people?
  • Matthew Wells 6y

    vaca_maldita's comment (above) is another testament of how uneducated people from other countries are brainswashed by their local media through the continous airing of only biased and negative coverage of US Forces. For those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, we know what really goes on and the fight there isn't about killing people, but about the hearts and minds of the local people.
  • Rachel 6y

    what is f/22? (Jeff-s comment)
  • Matthew Wells 6y

    F/22 or the Aperture setting is lingo used among professional photographers. Jeff-S is referring that the photographer of this picture had his aperture set to F22, which generally doesn't make for good shots. when you have smaller numbers such as F/2 or F/4, you get better shots because the camera absorbs more light. Jeff was able to retrieve the aperture data of this picture from the link on the right side of the page labeled "more properties".
  • peter p PRO 6y

    This is a quite fantastic picture. I like it very much ! I think this is a really nice picture. I love they way you've used the depth of field.Beautifully composed and so atmospheric .Instant fave.
  • Krassimira 6y

    great reportage! just classic one
  • pat ricio 6y

    winning hearts and minds??? of course,, you are liberators!!
  • Carlo B. 6y

    It is a very shocking picture and at first I tought it was a provocative one as it does not certainly depicts humanitarian assistance. It describes, as you rightly say, a batalion of very armed soldiers in full combact gear. We should never ever forget that humanitarian assistance is not and should not be distirbuted by an army which, by some, is and will always be, perceived as an invading force.

    The humanitarian principles which underpin all humanitarian assistance are Neutrality, Impartiality and Indipendence. That is why the International Red Cross - the world first humanitarian organization - never accepts armed escorts by anyone, including the US army.

    For more info on the difference between armies and soldiers and humanitarian action and aid workers, please see this link:

    In other words, humanitarianism is actually the perfect opposite of this statement:

    "Soldiers may be doing things to be humanitarian and to win at the same time. Their humanitarian action may be an important aspect of conquest"

    Unfortunately, this is becoming common wisdom these days and the principle that you help anyone, anywhere needed, irrespective whether he collaborates with insurgents or your side of the war, is being lost.
  • S.KOREA KDN 6y

    world peace please !!
  • Matthew Wells 6y

    litterae2 get with the program. the idea that non-military personnel should only distribute humanitarian aid is a great idea according to Wikipedia but cannot be possible in an environment like Iraq and Afghanistan due to the high threat of hidden insurgent snipers, deadly roadside bombs, and more importantly, suicide bombers determined to stop outside programs that aid the local population. also take into consideration the military had been distributing humanitarian aid around these countries on a daily basis since the initial invasion of both to show the local population that were not there to kill them, but to help them rebuild. if the Red Cross or any program went on the streets of Baghdad without weapons, they'd be slaughtered. That, and any survivors would be captured, held hostage, and beheaded in front of international media for the sake of fulfilling the extremist beliefs of these radical insurgent groups. so what do you recommend since you're so smart? coalition forces withdraw? sure, I'm all about it. most Soldiers could care less if we pulled out because we all want to go home to our families. hell, i start for my 3rd twelve month rotation to Iraq here shortly and I'm not ecstatic about it. but let's say we withdrew entirely. and then what? it's almost guaranteed the newly established democratic government would be overthrown, you'd have a new extremist dictatorship in place, and a whole new breeding ground for terrorist training camps aimed at targeting western civilization. it's a never ending cycle of violence, and by withdrawing we'd be giving them the upper hand.
  • Carlo B. 6y

    Dear SSG Wells,

    I feel you are getting upset and that is regrettable. Especially given that this is not your private site, but a US Army public information effort.

    As such, I understand that you are required to present the official US army opinion and I fully understand that. However, either you disable the comment function on your photos, or you allow people to comment as they may see fit.

    In any case, my point was exactly that armies should not hand out humanitarian items to gain the support of the population because in so doing they put in danger all the others humanitarian actors in the field who will not be perceived as independent anymore.

    I never said or argued that the US armies and other armies in Afghanistan and Iraq should be withdrawn. That is a different issue altogether and I was not discussing it in my post.

    I do not think I am very smart, actually I am quite convinced I am not, but I have been working with humanitarian organisatoins (NGOs and UN agencies alike) for the past 10 years and I am convinced that there is a very dangerous trend unfolding in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The trend to conflate humanitarian support to civilian population and combatants of all sides (yes, also to insurgents and terrorists we are obliged to provide humanitarian assistance) and the efforts to fight and win a war.

    The Red Cross would be probably shot today in Baghdad (although the Red Crescent - which is the equivalent of the Red Cross - continue to operate across Iraq and Afghanistan) exactly because we have confused the role of humanitarian organizations and they are not perceived as neutral anymore.

    I am deeply sorry that you, Mr. Wells, are about to start you 3rd rotation to Iraq and I wish you good luck and all the very best. But the fact that you are going there or not does not have anything to do with my position.

    thank you
  • jeshua.nace 6y

    Hey SSG Wells,

    SSG Nace here, PA professional. I'm hoping to impart some camera knowledge to you if you don't mind. I know DINFOS doesn't teach photography for more than a couple days. However, you shouldn't look at using F22 as bad, and F4 as good just because it lets in more light. Actually to the contrary F22 shots would produce a cleaner, more detailed shot than a F4 would. The trade of between the 2 is also an artistic choice, but sometimes a conditions choice.

    F22 gives you a wider field of view while F4 would give you a short field of view. Field of view meaning what is in focus. Wide field of view means more things are in focus near the focus point, while a shallow field of view would only allow the focus point to be in focus.

    Photographers use field of view for effect. Sometimes you want the black hawk in focus and nothing else. Sometimes you want the black hawk and the soldiers on the ground in focus.

    I wish the DINFOS school really expanded it's photoclass. Luckily I took 4 years of photography in high school and some classes in college. I'm a 46Q in the Army, and I do freelance work in the civilian world.

    To litterae2,

    First, I'm pretty sure SSG Wells was giving you his personal opinion and not that of the US Army. Second, while you ideas might work with the western world in a symmetrical war; the people we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan don't believe in your neutrality. It's a foreign concept. Now the people who we are giving aid to, that's a different matter, if your poor hungry and starving, you would take a piece of bread or water from anybody. The fact is that you should look up the concept of community policing. That's probably on your wikipedia. If someone is starving it's our obligation by law to help, in so doing a person who might have had a wrong impression of our troops can now have the ability to see them as people. Which is what soldiers are. Thirdly, SSG Wells never stopped anyone from commenting as they see fit. It's his opinion to counter what they say, and it's their right to object.

  • Jeff S 6y

    I should've clarified that it would be better for Spc Galloway (the original photographer of this photo) to set the aperture at f/11 or f/8, otherwise the large depth of field produced by such a small aperture (like f/22 shown here) would reveal any imperfections on the surface of the image sensor -- in this case, dust particles introduced into the camera during lens changes (shown as black dots on the sky in the photo).

    In addition, f/22 is the smallest aperture that most lenses can handle, this means that the aperture does NOT produce the optimum sharpness or image quality (due to diffraction). For general landscape shots like this one, f/11 is usually the best, and at the same time it is the point where most general lenses achieve optimum sharpness.

    As far as opinions are concerned in this thread, interesting viewpoints, although I am against any sort of foreign invasion/interventionism -- reason being I'll probably never understand the culture in the middle east, they are so different there.
  • Franks Photos - Catching Up 6y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called TOUR OF DUTY, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
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Taken on August 18, 2009
  • ƒ/22.0
  • 66.0 mm
  • 1/125
  • 200
  • Flash (off, did not fire)
  • Show EXIF
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