The night offers little protection these days. The cold wind kicks up sand across the bleached wastes and pelts exposed skin around the night vision goggles.
The next generation body armor is light weight and for that I am very grateful. My team has deployed in Iran. We are an undisclosed distance from the small border town of Mehran. We are in pursuit of the most active and deadly terrorist cell. A year or two ago we would have said these guys were Al Qaeda, but they're not. They're far better than Al Qaeda.
We suspect they have support from the Iranian government. They are a tool to keep the newly minted Iraqi government off balance and fearful. Mehran is two hours from Baghdad and since March, Iranian "tourists" have been encouraged by Iran to visit Muslim holy sites in Iraq by passing through this town.
We know that many of these Iranian tourists carry large quantities of C4 and other military grade explosives to waiting agents in and around Baghdad. They like their trips to end with a real bang. It's a deadly problem and we're being employed to find a solution.
We have 4 satellites covering the region and providing us with realtime data.
"Four sentries posted that I can make out."