A fire team from the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Ft. Wainwright, Alaska, sit in an over watch position atop a house in the outskirts of Mosul, Iraq in 2006. The threat of snipers forced these soldiers to sit on chairs to reduce their silhouettes and their possibility of being targeted, while covering other soldiers moving from building to building on the ground looking for terrorists and possible caches of weapons.

Mosul, Iraq

Circa 2006


alaska, barker, cache, christopher, christopher barker, ft, iraq, military, mosul, patrol, rooftop, security, soldier, stryker, terrorist, uniform, wainwright, war, weapons

A photographer who was born in a coal chute; to a mother who was literally squatting over it, in rural West Virginia. He managed to stave off black lung while splitting firewood in the backwoods of Kentucky for a four fingered accountant and Veteran of WWII. After dodging improvised explosive devices and periodic mortar/small arms fire in a far away land; he now whiles away his time digging in the Colorado dirt, occasionally finding the strength to raise his lazy hand to snap a picture or two.

View Full Profile


  • H Maria Perry
    H Maria Perryalmost 7 years ago

    Incredible work. Those boots in the foreground, are they yours?

  • Christopher Barker
    Christopher Ba...almost 7 years ago

    Thanks Helen. Yes those are my boots in the foreground.

  • Paul Vanzella
    Paul Vanzellaalmost 7 years ago

    what an amazing image – just love the viewpoint!

  • Christopher Barker
    Christopher Ba...almost 7 years ago

    Thanks Paul that means a lot. I appreciate your comment.

  • Craig Schroeder
    Craig Schroederalmost 7 years ago

    A powerful picture. I’m not even sure why.

  • Christopher Barker
    Christopher Ba...almost 7 years ago

    Thank you Craig

  • Judith Oppenheimer
    Judith Oppenhe...almost 7 years ago

    this could be my sundeck. except it isn’t. i think that’s why it’s so powerful.

  • Angela Lo Rosso
    Angela Lo Rossoover 6 years ago

    Now thats some view, great work :)

  • Nanmarie
    Nanmariealmost 6 years ago

    How long did they sit that way Chris?

  • Well this was probably the 30th house we just finished clearing, so we took a 10 minute breather to pull security from the rooftop for another squad. I told them to pull up the chairs. It reduced their chance of getting picked off by snipers as well.

    – Christopher Barker

  • Nanmarie
    Nanmariealmost 6 years ago

    But in general I mean – how long are the shifts? I’m trying to get a sense of what it must feel like to sit in a chair like that with a gun in your hand for xx hours. It’s just intriguing, frightening and so damn disturbing all at once.

  • Well the key is to never stay in one spot too long, you’ll compromise your security. Generally though we were out on the streets patrolling 2-3 times per day for approx. 6 hours per shift. It starts to wear on you for sure.

    – Christopher Barker

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait