Smiling with an Afghan policeman, Cpl Brent McCarthy had no idea that the man would open fire and kill him seconds later.
It's a scene that has been played out thousands of times, as soldiers pose with locals for their scrapbooks and war journals.
But Corporal Brent McCarthy did not know that the supposedly friendly man standing next to him was a rogue Afghan policeman who would open fire and kill him moments after this picture was taken.
Cpl McCarthy, who is buried in Codsall, was just 25 and had been chatting with his killer minutes before he was shot dead.
He was killed alongside Lance Corporal Lee Davies, 27, in Helmand Province, on May 12 last year.
The pair had ‘banter and general chit chat’ with what they thought were two Afghan Uniformed Police (AUP) officers as they guarded a base in Lashkar Gah on a sunny day in May last year.
They had been part of an eight-man British Army patrol, with an interpreter, advising and training local forces.
Just minutes after it was taken Cpl McCarthy’s camera, he and L/Cpl Davies, of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, died of ‘unsurvivable injuries’ from close range gunshots, the inquest at Oxford Coroners Court was told.
And the Afghan national pictured was shot dead by a British guardsman as he tried to flee the scene.
Ballistics experts found Cpl McCarthy had been struck by ‘four high velocity projectiles’ shot at ‘close or contact range’.
The tragedy happened after UK troops entered the compound, with some climbing into the watchtowers to keep guard. The pair who were killed stayed by their equipment and covered the centre-ground of the large compound.
Guardsman Joshua Foley, of the Welsh Guards, said the training group had “a good relationship” with the Afghans and he was not aware of any heightened risk before the attack.
He said during the visit troops had tried to strike up some “banter”, but the Afghans, who spoke no English, “didn't seem to get it".
However, when the British produced a camera, the Afghans agreed to have photos taken, including with Cpl McCarthy and Gdmn Foley.
Gdmn Foley then described how L/Cpl Davies said to his fellow soldiers that one of the Afghans appeared to have a wet patch between his legs.
“He said: ‘Look, he’s wet himself, he’s scared of you’,” said Guardsman Foley. Asked by the coroner if he thought either of the Afghans heard the comment, Gdmn Foley said he did not believe they had and pointed out they seemed to understand very little English.
He then left L/Cpl Davies and Cpl McCarthy with the policemen to take up duty in one of the base's two guard towers. “I heard a rapid burst of shots, and as I looked I saw the two Afghan police holding their weapons and L/Cpl Davies was lying back,” said Guardsman Foley.
“I did not see the Afghan police fire any shots but they both ran out of the main entrance.”
He managed to shoot one of the men as he tried to escape before trying to save the servicemen. Gdmn Foley told the inquest he had never seen the two gunmen before when they came over to talk to them.
He said Corporal Brent McCarthy got his camera out and wanted his picture taken with one of the men’s AK47 rifle.
The inquest saw the photo of Corporal McCarthy and a man in Afghan police uniform posing with one another’s guns.
Guardsman Foley told the inquest Lance Corporal Lee Davies had remarked: “Look he’s wet himself he’s scared of you.”
He added: “He had made the comment in a jokey manner but I did notice he had wet trousers around the groin area.”
Asked by the coroner if he thought either of the Afghans heard the comment, Guardsman Foley said he did not believe they had and pointed out they seemed to understand very little, if any, English.
Cpl McCarthy lived in Priorslee, Telford, but had many relatives and friends in Wolverhampton and was buried with full military honours at St Nicholas’s Church, Codsall.
He joined the RAF police in 2008 and was assigned to the base in 2009 where he volunteered to deploy with 174 Provost Company, 3rd Regiment Royal Military Police, where he helped train and mentor Afghan police.