Flying low

John D. McHugh’s latest installment in The Guardian today details his move to an outpost of Speray in Khowst province about 900 metres from the Pakistan border

I managed to get the back seat, the one that photographers always want. This is because in a Chinook there is a rear ramp, and as the pilots fly fast and close to the ground to avoid rockets, the ramp stays down. This allows me to photograph and film the scenery rushing by underneath. As the helicopters started to descend I noted the difference in terrain from Bermel. Khowst is high mountain terrain, and also has a lot of trees and vegetation. Not as green as Nuristan or Kunar, but definitely more lush than Paktika. This always looks attractive, but it also makes the environment more dangerous, as it lends itself to ambush. link