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Partial Inventory of the John R. Bruning Collection
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Photographs and video recordings 2001-2010

General Physical Description note: 37,364 digital files (486 GB)

Scope and Contents note

These born-digital, color images depict US national guard units deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. In some cases, descriptions of the events and activities depicted were written by Bruning and are included in the digital folder with the images. Several related articles by Bruning are also included.
The directory structure, folder names, and file names were retained by Hoover almost exactly as received from Bruning. The directory structure consists of folders with descriptive names; it is the basis of the container list below. Some of the digital file names are also descriptive, though many others follow an alphanumeric form generated by the camera, such as SUC50007.jpg. Because the descriptive folder and file names were very long, occasionally exceeding the file system limit of some operating systems, and contained many characters not recommended for file names, Hoover staff slightly altered some of them while retaining their descriptive nature.
Some folders are noted as being empty. Because Bruning was not able to finish arranging and describing the material, Hoover retained the empty folders in case they provide clues to some of the photographs that lack description. There is also a lot of duplication of images in different subfolders, which may represent Bruning's unfinished work of sorting, arranging, and describing the materials.
Some of the folder titles seem to suggest that the images within were created by someone other than Bruning. He probably collected copies of some photographs taken by people he met. The photographs in the Devils Sandbox folder were all given to Bruning by soldiers.
Several types of digital files are in the collection. Photographs are primarily JPG. Many of the JPGs also have a higher-quality CR2 version, but only the JPG versions are available in the reading room. There are also some TIFs, all of which are available in the reading room. Video recordings are typically short clips available as MOV or AVI files. Bruning's notes and articles are in MS Word files; a PDF file with background information on the Haqqani Network is also included.

Devils sandbox photos 2003-2005

General Physical Description note: circa 150 digital files

Scope and Contents note

These selected photographs taken by soldiers and given to Bruning detail the 2003-2005 deployment of the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry, Oregon National Guard to Iraq. The battalion fought in Baghdad, 2nd Najaf, the Sunni Triangle, and Fallujah from March 2004 to March 2005. They suffered 9 killed in action and about 80 wounded in action out of 700. They were heavily engaged during both Shia uprisings that year as well as the 2nd Battle of Fallujah in November.

41st Infantry Brigade in New Orleans Post-Katrina 2005

General Physical Description note: circa 1,600 digital files

Scope and Contents note

These photographs and video recordings relate to the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry, Oregon National Guard, which was deployed to North Central New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. For a month, the men conducted patrols and searched for survivors and human remains. Bruning deployed with them as a civilian embed, living with them on a concrete walkway in front of the music hall at the New Orleans Baptist Seminary.

Operation Southern Comfort


Albany Herald


B Co photos Sept 7 and 8 my Cam 7-8 September 2005


Bates camera Sept 11 evening patrol met Mimi first time 11 September 2005


Corvallis Times Article


Day patrol Indian Village Sept 10 morning and early afternoon B Co 2nd Plt 10 September 2005


FG Times


IO article Sept 14 14 September 2005


Lt BAB camera


Lt Miller camera patrol with BS Sept 9 morning 9 September 2005


Monday Sept 12 3 Patrols Bravo Co 12 September 2005


Night patrol number 1 Vinnie Dave John Sept 9 2100-2200 9 September 2005


Photos of the historian


Sept 8 and 9 8-9 September 2005

General note

Folder is empty.

Sept 9 patrol escort with Charlie 9 September 2005

General note

Folder is empty.

Sept 11 2 bus patrols 5 hours 1st Plt SFC Jacques 11 September 2005


Sept 13 night patrol and Dillard Patrol 1st and 2nd PLt 13 September 2005


Sept 15 3 patrols SFC Jacques Tagging 15 September 2005

General note

Folder is empty.

Sept 15 morning patrol Houston 3rd Plt 15 September 2005

General note

Folder is empty.

September 18 late photos 18 September 2005

General note

Folder is empty.

Woodke photos

General note

Folder is empty.

41st Infantry Brigade Training 2008-2010

General Physical Description note: circa 15,800 digital files

Scope and Contents note

Bruning founded and funded the 973rd Civilians on the Battlefield (973 COB), a nonprofit organization. This group of civilians serves as the Oregon National Guard's (ONG) opposing force during drill weekends and field exercises. They dress as Sunni or Shia or Taliban insurgents, use the appropriate tactics depending on whom they are modeling, and help prepare units for combat and stability/support operations overseas. These training photographs and video recordings come from field exercises with the 41st or 82nd Brigades, ONG that the 973rd attended. In August 2008, Bruning spent a month with Alpha Company, 2-162 at Gowen Field, Idaho, during the unit's final field training exercise before their second Iraq deployment, and images from this time are also included.









Gowen field trip August 2008


A Co Aug 11 village attack 11 August 2008


August 12 activities


Additional B Co photos iteration 3 Aug 10 3 August 2008


Also rans


Aug 12 A Co. village attack 12 August 2008




Rigs and maint


Staff photos Aug 8 8 August 2008


Travels with the BC and the TAC


August 13 last trip photos 13 August 2008


Idaho trip day 1 and 2 7-8 August 2008


New folder


Oregon NG photos July 8 John Bruning 8 July 2008


Promotion ceremony


Edited TIF files BG David Enyeart 8 July 2008


Unedited photos BG David Enyeart 8 July 2008


Promotion ceremony Major Welch 8 July 2008


Saturday Aug 9 Gowen Field 08 9 August 2008


Alpha Co


Bn TOC and staff


Bravo Co


Charlie Co


Delta Co




Scout Platoon


Sunday August 10 B Co village assault Gowen Field 10 August 2008






A photos


B photos


C photos








Afghanistan Fall 2010

General Physical Description note: circa 19,700 digital files

Scope and Contents note

These photographs and video recordings document the deployment to Afghanistan of Bravo Company, 1-168 Aviation, a Boeing CH-47 Chinook heavy lift unit from Pendleton, Oregon. Another part of the unit came from the Washington National Guard and stationed at Ft. Lewis. The two detachments were merged and sent to FOB Shank in the summer of 2010 to conduct operations around Logar, Wardak, and Gahzni provinces. Bruning joined them at Fort Hood in July of 2010 and was with them until early August, when they deployed. Bruning joined Bravo 1-168 at FOB Shank on 5 September. The next day he began flying missions with the unit, which was attached to TF Brawler, 4-3 Aviation, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division. Mixed in with 1-168 were men and women from 5-158 Aviation, "Big Windy," out of Germany. They were at the end of their deployment and Bruning ultimately left Shank with them in November 2010.
Bravo 1-168 flew a variety of missions, including Air Mission Requests (AMRs). These routine requests from ground units were for personnel movement or supply/equipment deliveries. They usually involved hopscotching around the province to different FOBs to bring stuff in or pull people out. The unit also conducted air assault missions to insert troops into landing zones and extract them after their missions were complete. It also flew missions to deliver swing sets to local villages as part of the COIN campaign to connect citizens in rural areas to their government in Kabul, carried ballots and election officials to remote villages, and participated in a battalion-level night air assault in the Charkh Valley.
Bruning also captured some other events. In mid-October he flew to FOB Leatherneck and embedded with the 162 Engineers, Oregon National Guard, for its final route clearance mission. Bruning returned to FOB Shank at the end of October. His final images document his departure from Afghanistan on November 1. He went out with 5-158 to FOB Sharona, then to Kandahar, where he said goodbye to the "Big Windy" troops. From there he flew via C-17 to Kuwait, and then to Bilad, Iraq. He caught a medical flight to Ramstein, Germany, then a final C-17 that stopped at Gander, Canada, before landing at McChord AFB, Washington, which he reached five days after leaving FOB Shank.

Articles and blog entries


Marne Air 3rd CAB backgroud to deployment


Nature of the enemy in Logar Province

Scope and Contents note

Consists of one item, "The Haqqani Network: From Pakistan to Afghanistan," by Jeffrey A. Dressler, in Afghanistan Report 6, published by the Institute for the Study of War

Non-Mission in-country photographs


100310 flight line shots on Sunday


October 16 2010 with 162 Engineers FOB Leatherneck 16 October 2010


October 17 2010 with 162 Engineers 17 October 2010


October 19 2010 with 162 Engineers brief 19 October 2010


October 26 2010 flight line at sunset 26 October 2010


Numbered missions


Mission 00 090510 flight to Shank from Bagram with 1-168 5 September 2010


Mission 01 090610 RPG attack at Tangi 6 September 2010


Mission 02 090710 swing set 7 September 2010


Mission 03 090810 Tangi twice weapons cache 8 September 2010


Mission 04 090910 sling loads at sunrise 9 September 2010


Anson Smith and Captain Hoffman pilots


Mission 05 091010 face of the enemy 10 September 2010


Morning air assault John and Joe single engine 173 abb I flew with Eric and Kyle


Mission 06 091110 swing wet II 11 September 2010


Morning swing set delivery and afternoon air assault pick up with Apaches


Mission 07 091210 John Joe Carmen air assault Tangi slingload twice 12 September 2010


Mission 08 091510 Afghani commando insertion Bob and Anson chalk 2 Eric and Kyle chalk 1 15 September 2010


Mission 09 091610 Joe and Carmen chalk 1 15k, ballots, hinds 16 September 2010


Mission 10 091710 Polish FOB incident 17 September 2010


Mission 11 091810 election day mayhem 18 September 2010


Mission 12 091910 hot LZ Ageristan Bob and Carmen got mortared and zoo on hilltop with ANA and LN 19 September 2010


Mission 13 092210 Shulak air assault and knock and talk 22 September 2010


Mission 14 092310 battalion air assault in Chark Valley flying with LTC Ault 23 September 2010


Mission 15 092610 Bagram Tangi IED and SAF attack and Kyle's act of bravery 26 September 2010




Mission 16 092910 Bob and Anson Ryan, Sully and Jerrik Tangi SAF 29 September 2010


Mission 17 093010 flight to Altimur Czech heavy weapons shoot 30 September 2010


Mission 18 100410 Sorkh Ab Valley with Czechs 4 October 2010


Mission 19 100810 Bob and Anson Sully and Sgt Pollard sunrise over Chinooks ghazni and slingloads plus water to Tangi 8 October 2010


Mission 20 100910 Hoshnapur KLE 9 October 2010


Mission 21 101310 KLE Sorkh Ab Caccas house for tea and lunch 13 October 2010


Mission 22 102010 route cleance to COP Cryptic 162 Engineers 20 October 2010


Mission 23 Blackhearts - Col Ault's grand tour


Mission 24 103110 brawler 6 Charkh Valley 31 October 2010


Mission 25 110110 exfil with Big Windy to Kandahar via Sharona 31 October 2010


C17 Kandahar to Kuwait to Bilad to Ramstein to Gandar to McChord


Pre-Deployment 1-168 training photos


Bravo 1-168 at Ft Hood predeployment training


Rest of collection not yet described