Posts filed under ‘FRIDAY FOTO’
A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft takes off on a mission at dawn from Baghram Airfield, Afghanistan, Feb. 11, 2014.
For a slideshow of other activities around Baghram that cold clear morning, click here.
A Study in Concentration
Waiting to embark on an airborne exercise, U.S. Army Capt. Lindsey Ryan sits in full parachute harness familiarizing herself with a training manual. The captain is a paratrooper assigned to the Brigade Support Battalion of the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne). The Sky Soldiers, in conjunction with paratroopers with the Polish 6th Airborne Brigade, conducted the exercise at the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany on February 20, 2014.
And if you speak Polish, here is the 6th Airborne Brigade’s Facebook page. Good photos even if you don’t mówi po polsku. BTW, if you’ve seen the World War II film “A Bridge Too Far,” about the massive 1944 Allied parachute drop into the Netherlands, you’ve seen the antecedents of the Polish paratroops and their leader, Major General Stanislaw Sosabowski (played by Gene Hackman in the movie.)
Inside the Osprey
Cobra Gold, the largest and oldest military exercise in Southeast Asia, originally started as a training exercise to strengthen the relationship, mission readiness and interoperability between troops of the Kingdom of Thailand and the United States. This year, the 33rd iteration of Cobra Gold, the United States and Thailand welcomed participants from Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and, for the first time, the People’s Republic of China.
The exercise included an amphibious operations, helicopter assault, disaster site evacuation and training with live ammunition, according to the Pattaya Mail. The U.S. Marines seen here are with 2nd platoon, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.
To see what the Osprey tilt rotor aircraft looks like from the outside and other photos of the exercise, click here.
Ride Hike the High Country
Lance Corporal Eleanor Roper hauls a Marine Corps Cold Weather Infantry Kit sled during a field exercise at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center in Bridgeport, California.
Roper is a field radio operator with Ragnarok Company, 2nd Supply Battalion of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group.
The 228 Marines and sailors with Ragnarok Company, 2nd Supply Battalion of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, conducted cold-weather mobility training at the Mountain Warfare Training Center between January 14 and 28.
It’s all in preparation for the upcoming NATO exercise, Cold Response 2014, next month in Norway. The biennial exercise, hosted by the Norwegian Armed Forces will run from March 10 to 21.Some 16,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen from 16 countries are expected to participate this year, according to the Barents Observer. Last time, participating countries included Belgium, Canada, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Britain and France.
“The main thing is getting used to operating in extreme cold-weather environments and getting the benefits of the opportunity to train in the mountains, train our basic rifleman skills and provide logistics for 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines,” said 1st Lt. Owen Trotman, a platoon commander and assistant operations officer with Ragnarok Company.
For more photos, click here.
BTW, we don’t know the significance of the Marine company’s name, except Ragnarok was Norse mythology’s version of the “Twilight of the Gods.” In short, the end of the world after a tremendous battle. And some believers say the Viking apocalypse will happen this weekend.
A U.S. Marine and two South Korean marines attempt to flip a boat as they conduct amphibious operations drills during Exercise Cobra Gold 2014, Asia’s biggest military exercise, at Hat Yao in Rayong,Thailand.
The exercise is designed to advance regional security and effective response to regional crises through a multinational force created out of the nations that share common goals and common security commitments in the Asia-Pacific region.
The exercise also reaffirms the commitment by the United States and Thailand to their 181-year-old alliance and regional partnership in the Asia-Pacific region.
This year’s participants come from the U.S. and Thailand, but also Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.
For the first time, China will participate with a tiny contingent in the exercise, the Straits Times website reported. Beijing has had disputes with several nations — including the Philippines, Japan and Vietnam — over territorial boundaries in the South China Sea.
The Cobra Gold drills started in 1982 and have developed in to the largest multinational military exercise. China has been an observer since 2002 but has never been invited to take part before, according to CCTV.com.
The U.S. Marines participating in the exercise come from the 3rd Marine Division’s 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion.
Way Up North
Over the last decade of war, we’ve gotten used to photos of troops launching an unmanned aircraft in the deserts of the Middle East or the arid landscape of Afghanistan. But here’s one being readied for launch in snowy Alaska.
These paratroopers –from Bravo Company, 425th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division — are preparing this RQ-7 Shadow unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for launch at Forward Operating Base Sparta on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska.
The Shadow, manufactured by AAI Corp. of Hunt Valley, Maryland, can detect ground level temperature variations and can visually survey large stretches of territory, providing commanders with valuable battlefield information.
The troopers from Bravo Company were joined by soldiers assigned to the 25th Infantry Division’s 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team for a nine-day field training exercise almost 400 miles from their base at Fort Wainwright near Fairbanks, Alaska.
To see a photo slide show of this exercise, including closer views of the Shadows, click here.
Ready for “Harm’s Way”
“I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm’s way.”
–John Paul Jones
Today U.S. sailors take vessels like this riverine command boat (RCB) into harm’s way. Sailors assigned to Task Group 56.7.4 cross the Arabian Gulf in an RCB during a training exercise in the Arabian Gulf. RCBs provide a multi-mission platform for the U.S. 5th Fleet by focusing on maritime security operations, maritime infrastructure protection, and security cooperation efforts with other services and militaries. Oh, and they take part in offensive combat operations, too.
These fast moving boats ar armed with M240 7.62mm machine guns as well as heavier .50 caliber machine guns.
To see a short training video of an RCB in action in the Arabian Gulf, click here.
Afghan National Army commandos with the 3rd Special Operations Kandak (battalion) and U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets) with a 12-man Operational Detachment-Alpha, or A-Team, approach a compound during a clearing operation in Dewai Kalay village, Maiwand district in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
To see more photos from this operation, click here.
Not Cars, Flying Boats
U.S. Sailors with Coastal Riverine Squadron 1 assemble a modular ramp before unloading a pair of 34-foot patrol boats from an Air Force C-5 Galaxy cargo plane at Camp Lemonnier in the East African nation of Djibouti, January 12, 2014.
In addition to training with the Air Force, CRS-1 conducts anti-terrorism, force protection and personnel recovery missions in the Horn of Africa area of operations.
Coastal Riverine Squadrons, formerly known as Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadrons, were established in the wake of terrorist attacks abroad, in particular the 2000 bombing of the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole (DDG 67). Coastal Riverine Squadrons provide rapidly deployable defense personnel and assets for force protection and anti-terrorism operations.
An Aerospatialie Alouette III helicopter assigned to the 35th squadron of the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (R 91) hovers near the guided-missile destroyer USS Bulkeley (DDG 84) in the Gulf of Oman.
The Bulkeley, part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, is conducting operations with ships assigned to French Task Force 473 to enhance cooperation and interoperability, as well as mutual maritime capabilities.
BTW, alouette is the French name for lark and also an old French song about plucking the feathers off the tiny bird. Relax francophiles and francophones, we know the first line of the song in French is “Alouette, gentille alouette,” but we also know that millions of American summer campers on bus trips and around camp fires, mangled the phrase to Jaunty Alouette (and we think this French helicopter looks pretty jaunty).
Et aussi, mes amis — the USS Bulkeley is named for Vice Admiral John Bulkeley, a PT boat skipper in both the Pacific and European theaters of war who battled shortages of supplies, spare parts and fuel — as well as the Japanese — in the defense of the Philippines in early 1942. For his heroism and leadership in the P.I. from December 1941 to April 1942, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. Two years later, Bulkeley was in command of PT boats patrolling the waters off the Normandy beaches on D-Day. The highly decorated Bulkeley was probably best known for commanding the risky PT boat mission that spirited Gen. Douglas MacArthur off the island of Corregidor through enemy patrolled waters during the bleak early days of the War with Japan. Robert Montgomery’s character in the John Ford World War II film, “They Were Expendable” was modeled on Bulkeley’s exploits in the Philippines.
Corrects the reason Bulkeley received the Medal of Honor: His combat leadership in the Philippines — not the MacArthur evacuation (for which he received the Silver Star medal).