In early April 2011, a small team of cavalry scouts with the 4th Infantry Division came under intense enemy gunfire while conducting a reconnaissance mission in the remote Bala Murghab Valley in northwestern Afghanistan. The ensuing battle – dubbed Operation Red Sand – was protracted and bloody, involving members of the U.S., Afghan and Italian militaries. Senior Master Sgt. Kevin Wallace, then a combat photographer with the U.S. Air Force, managed to chronicle the mission before being wounded by a rocket-propelled grenade. This is his story.
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Photos by Sgt. Kevin Wallace (Ret.)