Partial Inventory of the John R. Bruning Collection

Finding aid prepared by Hoover Institution Archives Staff.
Hoover Institution Archives
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Stanford University
Stanford, CA, 94305-6010
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© 2008, 2012


Title: John R. Bruning collection
Date (inclusive): 1939-2010
Collection Number: 2000C119
Creator: Bruning, John R., collector
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
Language of Materials note: In English and Japanese.
Physical Description: 7 manuscript boxes, 37,364 digital files (486 GB) (2.8 linear feet)
Abstract: Video recordings of interviews of American and Japanese World War II pilots and German World War II submarine commanders; photocopies of American military aviation reports; photographs, relating to aerial and submarine operations in World War II and aerial operations in the Korean War; and digital videorecordings and photographs, relating to American military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives

Access

Collection is open for research.
The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

Publication Rights

For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item] ([Digital file name if appropriate]), John R. Bruning collection, [Box number if appropropriate], Hoover Institution Archives.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2000, followed by an increment of digital files in 2011.

Accruals

Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

Biographical Note

John Bruning, a military writer and photojournalist, was born in 1968 in Palo Alto, California. He earned a BA in history from the University of Oregon in 1990. He wrote or collaborated on seventeen books published or pending as of 2011, including The Devil's Sandbox, House to House, How to Break a Terrorist, Shadow of the Sword, Crimson Sky, and Jungle Ace.
Bruning began work on The Devil's Sandbox, which details the 2003-2005 deployment of the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry, Oregon National Guard to Iraq, in 2005. Six months after returning home, the battalion 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.
Upon returning to Oregon and publishing The Devil's Sandbox, 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. 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.
In June 2010 Bruning was invited to deploy as an embed to Afghanistan with Bravo Company, 1-168 Aviation, a Boeing CH-47 Chinook heavy lift unit from Pendleton, Oregon. Another part of the unit belonged to the Washington National Guard at Ft. Lewis. The two detachments were merged and sent to Forward Operating Base (FOB) Shank in the summer of 2010 to conduct operations around Logar, Wardak, and Gahzni provinces. Bruning joined them at Fort Hood in July 2010 and was with them until their deployment in early August. On September 5 he joined Bravo 10168 at FOB Shank. 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.
Bruning went to Afghanistan without any affiliation to a news organization, and he was not under contract nor in the employ of anyone. He intended to spend his time in Afghanistan writing articles about the men and women for their local newspapers. He wrote seven articles and had five published.

Scope and Content of Collection

Video recordings of interviews of American and Japanese World War II pilots and German World War II submarine commanders, photocopies of American military aviation reports, and photographs, relating to aerial and submarine operations in World War II and aerial operations in the Korean War. These materials were collected by Bruning in the course of his work.
Most of the still and moving images of national guard training and deployment in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina (2005), in Iraq (2004-2005), and in Afghanistan (2010), supplemented by a few items dated as early as 2001, were created by Bruning, although some photographs were given to him. The Iraq and New Orleans material follows the deployment of the 2nd Battalion, 162nd Infantry, Oregon National Guard. It fought in Baghdad, 2nd Najaf, the Sunni Triangle, and Fallujah from March 2004 to March 2005. Bruning wrote a book about this deployment, The Devil's Sandbox. After Hurricane Katrina the battalion was deployed to North Central New Orleans; selected photographs from this period are available. The Afghanistan images follow the deployment 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 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's photos follow the unit's deployment in the summer and fall. Additional photographs and videorecordings depict Oregon National Guard training activities circa 2008.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Afghan War, 2001- .
Iraq War, 2003-2011.
Korean War, 1950-1953--Aerial operations.
Video tapes.
World War, 1939-1945--Aerial operations.
World War, 1939-1945--Naval operations--Submarine.

 

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.
 

100EOS7D

 

101CANON

 

101EOS7D

 

DCIM

 

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

 

Medics

 

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

 

General

 

Scout Platoon

 

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

 

Guard

 

100EOS7D

 

A photos

 

B photos

 

C photos

 

Dups

 

Mike

 

Ox

 

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

 

Intel

 

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