Posts filed under ‘FRIDAY FOTO’
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).
Honor Guard Review
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have had a busy travel year — visiting allies, U.S. troops in the field and attending various security conferences. Almost everywhere they go, the top civilian and uniformed leaders of the Pentagon are met by an honor guard.
As longtime 4GWAR readers know, your editor finds the exotic uniforms some of these honor guards wear absolutely fascinating.
So here’s a sampling of some of the places Hagel and Dempsey have been and what the reception committee looked like. Click on each photo to enlarge the image.
In late April, Dempsey visited Beijing and reviewed the troops with Gen. Fang Fenghui, chief of the Chinese general staff.
The same day, April 22, 2013, Defense Secretary Hagel was in Israel, reviewing an honor cordon with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon in Tel Aviv.
Two days later, Hagel continued his trip through the Middle East in Cairo at an arrival honors ceremony with Egyptian Defense Minister Abdel Fatah Saeed Al Sisy.
In July, Dempsey visited Poland, where he took in a pass and review ceremony in Warsaw with Lt. Gen. Mieczyslaw Gocul, chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces …
… and then on to Afghanistan, where he visited the Ministry of Defense in Kabul.
In August, Dempsey ventured to Jordan, where he saluted the honor guard after a pass and review ceremony.
In October, Dempsey journeyed to Seoul, South Korea where he reviewed with Korean leaders a military parade marking the 60th anniversary of the U.S.-South Korea alliance …
Well … that’s it for 2013. We wish you all a healthy, safe and prosperous New Year
Some of Santa’s helpers discus flight plans over the Pacific Ocean during Operation Christmas Drop.
Maj. John Chrampanis, a C-130 Hercules aircraft commander with the 36th Airlift Squadron speaks with Capt. Michael Kelly, a C-130 pilot with the 36th AS. Both pilots are stationed at Yokota Air Base, Japan.
This year marked the 61st anniversary of the holiday mission delivering gifts and supplies to more than 30,000 islanders on Chuuk, Palau, Yap, the Marshall Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Airman for the 36th Wing at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, as well as family members, local volunteers and airmen from the 36th Airlift Squadron at Yokota, kicked off the mission December 11. Packages of toys, clothing, fishing equipment, sporting goods, food items, tools and other items were airdropped from C-130 Hercules aircraft to 54 islands.
To see more photos of the holiday mission, click here.
Even in the era of cyber warfare and robots, some jobs still have to be done the old fashioned way.
Three U.S. sailors — Seaman Recruit Thomas Hyatt, left, Seaman Apprentice Leonard Shepard, center, and Seaman Recruit Benjamin Nunez — perform preservation work on the anchor of guided-missile cruiser USS Monterey while the ship was moored earlier this month in Souda Bay, Greece. The ship is now in Malta.
We wonder what’s more difficult, reaching up and trying to scrape and paint in a bobbing boat, or trying to forget that enormous mass of metal hanging above your very small, bobbing boat.
… and here’s what the whole ship looks like. For comparison’s sake, note the hoisted anchor — to the right of the number 61 on the bow. Click on the photo to enlarge the image.
Black Hawk, Blue Mountain
A 10th Combat Aviation Brigade UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter makes its way through a snow-dusted mountain pass in Paktya Province in eastern Afghanistan. (Click on photo to enlarge image)
Members of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Task Force Falcon, were flying the Black Hawk on a personnel movement mission November 28, 2013.
The 10th CAB, part of the 10th Mountain Division, has played a key role in war and peace including Hurricane Andrew relief in Florida, operations in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
To see more photos of the Black Hawks and their crews in the 10th CAB, click here.
Soldiers with the 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, patrol at Multinational Base Tirin Kot, Uruzgan province, Afghanistan. The Australians are assigned to the U.S. Army 2nd Cavalry Regiment Task Force.
Changing of the Guard
A U.S. Air Force F-15 Strike Eagle fighter jet piloted by Col. John York leads an F-16C Fighting Falcon flown by Lt. Col. Sean Navin on the Falcon’s final mission for the 144th Fighter Wing of the California Air National Guard in Fresno, California.
The F-16s have been transferred to the 162nd Fighter Wing in Tucson, Ariz., after the 144th Fighter Wing received the F-15 as its new airframe. York is the 144th Operations Group commander. Navin is the commander of the 194th Fighter Squadron.
This beautiful shot was going to be the Friday Foto today until we realized this was a static display of a retired F-15. However, it’s still a nice photo, so here it is. This McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle resides at Heritage Park near U.S. Air Force 3rd Wing headquarters. We see it here just as the sub-arctic dawn breaks over Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska.
The 3rd Wing flies the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor stealth fighter as well as the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III heavy lift and the Beechcraft C-12 light cargo and passenger aircraft and the E-3 Sentry AWACS (airborne warning and control system) aircraft.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner came to mind when we first saw this photo on the Defense Department website.
It shows Marine Lt. Col. Steve Schmid running the Marine Corps Marathon Forward at Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province on October 27. The event coincided with the annual Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. (see below).
Schmid finished first overall with a time of 2:41:36. (That’s two hours, 41 minutes and 36 seconds).
Now, your 4GWAR editor has run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington twice (in 2001 and 2002). But we can’t imagine running 26.2 miles in such an austere location — note the razorwire barrier on the left side of the photo. The photos and video from the Afghan version of the MCM make it look hot, dusty, sandy, hot and — frankly — boring, compared to the crowds and monuments that are the hallmark of the Marine Corps Marathon in DC.
To see a slideshow of the road race in Afghanistan, click here,
Now here’s an interesting photo from this year’s race in Washington. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos is shown congratulating a competitor at the finish line. To see more photos, click here. They don’t really capture the mass of runners and spectators that turn out for the race. More than 30,000 ran in Washington. More than 300 ran in Afghanistan.