The patrol was part of an area recon through a district Coalition Forces had not previously visited. As the lead element of the surge force, we had to build the intel picture of the area and nominate potential sites for a base.
The village was situated along the western edge of a mountain ridge with a road running west to east and eventually into Pakistan. During the Soviet occupation the Russians had captured the district center (which was situated on a plain) and tried to move along the road into the valley but were severely repulsed by the local mujahed commander.
As a result of the initial defeat, the Soviets bombed/ arty'd the OPs in the mountains and prepared an air assault insertion into the village of Dobandi, approximately 2km east of Shinkay. To prevent mujahed reinforcements encircling the Soviet air assault positions, Shinkay was bombed repeatedly.
Walking through the area was like walking on the moon. Many of the structures off the main road were mined by Soviet ground forces after their insertion though there were signs that a few of the qalats were being used again..
Some additional pics taken near Dobandi:
A 250 kg bomb that failed to explode buried in a mountain stream.
Mine/ UXO awareness.
Panj Qalay, a 'village' near one of the Soviet insertion points in Dobandi. We caused quite a stir when we came in that morning because we landed near another one of the insertion points as well. Our first priority when we hit the ground was to assure the local elder we weren't there to destroy the village.
The area had seen enough.