Image copyright: © Australian War Memorial,
Creative Commons License This image is licensed under CC BY-NC

ID number P04102.089
Collection Photograph
Object type Black & white - Film original negative 120 safety base
Photographer Parker, David Dare
Places made
  • Iraq;
  • Iraq: Al Asad;
Date made 24 April 2003
Credit line Acquired through Australian War Memorial official commission 2003


An Australian soldier stands guard outside the gates of the Al Asad airbase, 200 kilometres west of Baghdad. The soldier is probably a member of the Special Air Services Regiment (SAS) or a commando from the 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (4RAR). The damage to the buildings and structures is a result of the coalition bombing campaign during the early stages of the war. The SAS, assisted by 4RAR, took control of the airbase on 11 April 2003 and discovered almost 8 million kilograms of explosive ordnance and over 50 aircraft. The aircraft were either buried in large pits or concealed under camouflage nets, with the majority having escaped detection during the Coalition bombing campaign. The SAS and 4RAR operated in the Middle East as part of the Australian commitment to the Coalition forces assembled to disarm Iraq.