Posts filed under ‘FRIDAY FOTO’
U.S. Army Specialist Josh Schleuss talks with students at Sheragha Shahed High School in Afghanistan’s Parwan province. Schleuss is assigned to the 101st Airborne Division’s 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment.
To see more photos of this school visit, click here.
ORLANDO, Florida – The biggest robotics trade show in the United States (maybe in the world) is underway at the massive Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Thousands of attendees from scores of countries are expected at the four-day event sponsored by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).
But on Sunday (May 11) nine small unmanned aerial systems (SUAS) strutted their stuff in a hot, grassy field at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center about an hour’s drive away on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. The demonstration of how small drones can operate safely in a confined space was jointly sponsored by AUVSI and Space Florida, the state’s economic development agency for the aerospace industry. Both groups also wanted to show that small unmanned aircraft – which are barred from being flown for commercial operations – can be useful and safe in a number of endeavors.
The demonstration included four research scenarios: crop health monitoring, searching for a lost or injured person, monitoring mock wildfire and disaster scenes. The Federal Aviation Administration, which is responsible for air safety and integrating unmanned aircraft into the national airspace in the near future, kept most spectators far back from the demo area and the tents and trailers housing the small drones. The crowd, which at times numbered in the hundreds, could watch both the unmanned aircraft and video being transmitted from the small aircraft on large TV screens.
The aircraft participating included a six-rotor mini helicopter – also called a vertical take off and landing (VTOL) aircraft (photo at left) operated by Florida-based Elevated Horizons. The company does aerial imaging, data collection and site surveys for a number of businesses – especially agriculture. Company executive Ty Rozier (pictured above) said one of their biggest customers was Dole’s fruit-growing operations in Costa Rica. “There are lots of local farmers who want to use our stuff but unfortunately you can’t do it” because of FAA restrictions.
Many unmanned systems makers these days are shifting products originally developed for the military toward the business and first responder markets. “We started in the military and we’ve moved into the commercial, industrial and public safety sector,” said Cameron Waite, North American sales directors for Aeryon Labs. The Canadian company flew its SkyRanger mini helicopter in the demonstration. The SkyRanger is a newer version of the Aeryon’s Scout quadcopter, which was the first UAS to fly from one of the six drone test sites designated by the FAA for developing ways to integrate UAS into the national airspace.
NOTE: Click on the photos to see an enlarged image.
Like green-eyed alien hunters, U.S. Army Rangers peer into the dim light of dusk through night vision goggles. These two soldiers — from Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment — are taking part in annual Task Force Training at Fort Knox, Kentucky.
Rangers are constantly training to maintain the highest level of tactical proficiency. The 3rd Battalion is being evaluated for how its soldiers perform during operational situations. The Ranger Regiment (despite the high number, there is only one) is one of the components of U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
To see more photos of this training exercise, click here. And don’t forget to click on the photo to enlarge it for better viewing.
The British Are Coming
In bearskin headgear known as a busby, the pipes and drums of the British Army’s 1st Battalion, Scots Guards, performs in the Pentagon courtyard Thursday (May 1, 2014). The Scots Guards is the oldest unit in the British Army, tracing its lineage back to 1642 in the service of King Charles I.
The pipe band is made up of 12 bagpipers, 10 drummers and two dancers (see photo below) and is led by a pipe major.
In between performances, James Townsend Jr., deputy assistant secretary of defense for European and NATO policy noted that in addition to being the oldest infantry battalion in the United Kingdom, the unit has skills in engineering and combined arms, which have been displayed on the battlefield. “So while we enjoy your musicianship here, we [also] know being good Scots Guards you enjoy a scrap” he added.
The Scots Guards served alongside U.S. Marines in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province in 2012-2013, said British Army Brigadier General Douglas Chalmers, liaison officer for the chief of the U.K. defense staff.
The dancer below is attired in a kilt with the Regiment’s official tartan, Royal Stewart. If you click on the photo and enlarge it, look for the traditional dirk, or dagger, tucked into the stocking on his right leg.
There doesn’t appear to be any video/audio of this event yet, but to hear what the full band (brass and woodwinds) sounds like click here.
Or click here to see a YouTube video of the pipes and drums leading the 1st Battalion’s 2013 homecoming parade through the streets of Glasgow after their deployment in Afghanistan. We suggest skipping to the 2:00 or 3:00 minute mark of the 14:00 video.
Now this is a different kind of photo bomb.
These two U.S. Navy parachutists are conducting free fall training above Naval Station Rota, Spain. They are assigned to Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 8. Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians are the Navy’s bomb squad, but they are much more than that. They are highly trained in parachuting and underwater diving as well as explosives handling and removal.
EODs “clear the way” for Special Operations Forces including Army Green Berets as well as Navy SEALS. For more information on this military specialty, click here.
For another view of this high altitude training, click here.
Hitting the Beach
The cloudy brown bursts above the water are simulated artillery fire from the beach defenders while the white smoke is being generated as a screen by the marines’ amphibious assault vehicles (AAVs). Ssang Yong, which stands for ‘Twin Dragons,” measures the amphibious capabilities of the South Korea-U.S. Navy-U.S. Marine Corps team.
For the exercise, both the ROK and U.S. AAVs were commanded by the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) III Marine Expeditionary Force.
For Purple Mountain Majesties.
A soldier with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division provides security during a live fire exercise at Forward Operating Base Thunder near the Hindu Kush mountain range in Afghanistan’s Paktia province.
To see a photo essay of the live fire exercise, click here.
Don’t forget to click on the photo to see a bigger, sharper image.
O Grab Me.
With the collapse of Napoleon’s Empire in late March, U.S. President James Madison calls for immediate repeal of a maritime trade embargo passed by Congress in December 1813.
The Embargo of 1813 is the latest in a series of attempts by Madison and his predecessor Thomas Jefferson to hurt Britain economically by denying British merchants and consumers American goods and raw materials.
There is another reason for this legislation: smuggling in Maine, Georgia, Vermont and New York – Americans doing business with the enemy despite the war and the widening naval blockade of U.S. seaports. The illegal trade “has reached such proportions” that Congress passes a far reaching embargo, according to George C. Daughan’s War of 1812, The Navy’s War.
To halt the smuggling and hurt British commerce, the new law bans every type of shipping including coastal shipping and fishing outside U.S. harbors Even inland waterways come under the shipping ban.
But like Jefferson’s attempt to slap Britain without starting a shooting war – the Embargo of 1807 – the 1813 law does more harm than good. Back in 1807, wags scrambled the letters of embargo to spell “O Grab Me” or “Mob Rage.” In 1813, American ships once again are barred from leaving American ports to trade overseas. As an example of the economic woes the 1813 Embargo imposed, Daughan notes that in 1806, nearly $16 billion in shipping business was conducted just in New York City. During 1813, that amount dwindled to $60,000.
And the 1813 embargo didn’t stop New York and Vermont farmers from selling fresh produce and meat to the British in Canada. Meanwhile, seaportsin the South were conducting the same type of trade with the very British ships blockading most U.S. Atlantic ports.
The embargo infuriates New England where the economy is dependent on maritime commerce and the British are not even blockading their ports yet. That omission was deliberate on the part of the Royal Navy, which sought to drive a wedge between Madison and the opposition Federalist Party, which was strongest throughout New England.
With Napoleon out of power, there’s no leverage against the British, so Madison calls on Congress to repeal the embargo and signs the legislation on April 14.
Hagel, a former Army infantryman, reviewed an honor guard — as is customary for visiting dignitaries. He then stood and watched the honor guard present arms and then yell — which apparently is also customary in Mongolia.
We’ve seen some unusual dress uniforms in Defense Department photos over the last few years, but these Mongolian soldiers may take the cake. Note the spiffy spiked helmet and pointy-toed boots. But check out the stocks on some of those rifles!
Apparently another Mongolian custom is to give visiting distinguished guests a horse as a present. To see the cute pony Hagel got — and what he named it, click here.
Share the Road
In this photo, a Norwegian Leopard 2 tank from the Telemark Battalion, prepares for battle on the busiest main road in North Norway.
Military exercises are normally conducted inside a restricted area far from populated areas. But during Exercise Cold Response, which recently concluded in Norway, soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines from 16 nations drove, marched and flew over two counties in the northern part of the country. The 16-day exercise’s area of operations included several towns and villages.
According to the Norwegian Defense Force, the folks of Nordland and Troms counties near the Arctic Circle, have no problem sharing their roads with the military visitors – in fact they welcome the “invasion” of foreigners. Military Police from eight nations helped the Norwegians maintain road safety and kept the Volvos and Saabs separated from the armored vehicles during the sprawling exercise.
Cold Response, which tests the operational ability of participating forces in extreme winter weather conditions, takes place in a geographic area about the size of Belgium. Norwegian troops have been doing this for years and say it prepares them for a rigorous arctic experience.
Click here to see the Swedish Defence Forces Cold Response website (in Swedish, but cool photos).
NOTE: Because the 4GWAR editor will be flying late Thursday/early Friday we are posting this week’s FRIDAY FOTO early.