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On Patrol in Iraq: Protecting Camp Victory

Children look on while Lt. Jason Whitworth reads off a list of questions during a house assessment in an Iraqi village.
John McChesney, NPR
Children look on while Lt. Jason Whitworth reads off a list of questions during a house assessment in an Iraqi village.
A U.S. soldier performs a retinal scan on an Iraqi villager during a patrol.
John McChesney, NPR
A U.S. soldier performs a retinal scan on an Iraqi villager during a patrol.

Security is paramount at Camp Victory, a U.S. base in Iraq, because of its proximity to Baghdad International Airport. Humvee-mounted soldiers patrol the nearby farms and towns around the clock.

On a recent patrol, Alpha Company of the Arkansas National Guard's 39th Combat Brigade Team left the base in four Humvees. In the lead vehicle, the feeble air conditioner was on the fritz, and the armor- and helmet-clad soldiers were soaked within the first few minutes of a four-hour drive in 110-degree weather.

NPR's John McChesney road along on the patrol, which included a stop in a small village. There, soldiers conducted a "house assessment," searching a home and questioning the oldest male resident through an interpreter.

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