Posts tagged ‘Air Force’

FRIDAY FOTO (January 16, 2015)

HALO Jumpers.

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Callaway

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Christopher Callaway

There’s a cautionary saying from the early days of aviation that “only angels have wings.” But here we have a photo of U.S. Air Force special tactics airmen demonstrating their skill with a HALO — high altitude, low opening parachute jump. The object of such a jump is to free fall from a high altitude then open the chute at a low altitude and descend without being detected from the ground.

These airmen are from the 24th Special Operations Wing, part of U.S. Special Operations Command and one of three Air Force wings dedicated to demanding and dangerous jobs like combat controllers, pararescuemen and special operations weather officers.

Combat controllers are special air traffic controllers operating from the ground in combat zones.They provide expert air support coordination and communications capabilities and often accompany Army Special Forces, Army Rangers and Navy SEALS when they deploy into hostile areas.They call in air strikes and control air traffic on and above landing strips and jump zones in hostile or austere environments. They were among the first U.S. troops on the ground during emergency relief efforts after the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Pararescuemen, known as PJs, parachute over land or water to render medical assistance and rescue downed pilots and other personnel in combat or natural disaster situations. They are also lowered to ground or water level on a cable to rescue people. Among their many tasks, special operations weather officers and airmen deploy into combat and non-permissive environments (the ‘bad guys’ or ‘bad conditions’ on the ground don’t want you there) to collect and interpret meteorological data and provide ground force commanders with accurate intelligence during a special operations mission.

The HALO jump, from MC-130H Talon II special operations aircraft over Hurlburt Field, Florida, is designed to help participants maintain their qualification for special tactics airmen, trained to jump into hostile or austere environments not accessible to aircraft.

To see a photo slideshow of the pre-jump preparations and the jump itself, click here. As ever, to enlarge the image just click on the photo.

January 16, 2015 at 1:32 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (January 2, 2015)

Reflecting Global Reach.

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Maeson L. Elleman

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Maeson L. Elleman

A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle jet fighter is reflected in the visor of  Senior Airman Charlton Hampton during routine, but still risky mid-air refueling near Okinawa, Japan. As security threats and humanitarian crises continue to pop up around the world, mid-air refueling extends the range of Air Force aircraft and the  global reach needed to respond to far-flung crises. 

Hampton is a boom operator on a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 909th Air Refueling Squadron.

January 2, 2015 at 8:54 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (December 17, 2014)

Airpower.

 (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Guerrero)

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alexander Guerrero)

This is what U.S. strategy planners are talking about when they discuss projecting power.

Twenty-four big U.S. Air Force cargo airplanes prepare to take off Dec. 6, 2014, from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas in support of the U.S. Air Force Weapons School’s Joint Forcible Entry Exercise 14B. This gathering of eagle includes 11 C-130H Hercules and 13 C-130J Super Hercules heavy lift aircraft The C-130H models are from various Air National Guard units and the C-130J models are from the 317th Airlift Group at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

In addition to the C-130s, the JFEX included approximately 20 C-17 Globemaster IIIs and various other aircraft.

 

December 19, 2014 at 12:56 am 1 comment

FRIDAY FOTO (December 5, 2014)

Simulated Trauma.

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Maeson L. Elleman

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Maeson L. Elleman

An airman role-playing as a simulated vehicle accident victim speaks with a first responder during an emergency response exercise on Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan. Between them is a less-responsive “victim,” a role being played by a medical training mannequin. Both airmen are assigned to the 18th Security Forces Squadron, part of the 18th Mission Support Group.

The exercise tested the abilities of Kadena emergency responders — from firefighters to security forces and medical personnel — to administer life-saving techniques quickly in a stressful environment.

Defense Department officials have warned that training — whether it’s landing troops on a beach, flying a plane, putting out a fire or working together with foreign military partners — is one of the essential areas facing cutbacks because of congressionally mandated and White House-approved across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration.

To see more photos of the exercise, click here.

December 5, 2014 at 1:29 am Leave a comment

AROUND AFRICA: Nigeria bombing, Jet Deal Imperiled?

Nigeria: More Violence.

Nigeria (CIA World factbook)

Nigeria
(CIA World factbook)

Dozens of people have been killed in an attack by suspected Boko Haram militants in northeastern Nigeria. Gunmen rampaged through the village of Azaya Kura in the Mafa area in Borno state, killing at least 45 people, according to the BBC.

The village is about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Maiduguri, capital of Borno state. Boko Haram has taken control of a series of towns and villages in northeastern Nigeria in recent weeks.

Authorities have struggled to defeat the militant Islamist group, which has been waging an insurgency in Nigeria since 2009. In May 2013, President Goodluck Jonathan imposed a state of emergency in the northern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, vowing to crush the Islamist insurgency.

New York-based Human Rights Watch says Boko Haram has killed more than 2,000 civilians just this year.

*** *** ***

Nigeria Jets

The Nigerian Air Force wants to acquire more fighter jets to battle the Boko Haram Islamist militant group.

But Nigerian officials are concerned that their attempt to buy new combat aircraft from Textron and AirLand Enterprises may be blocked because of the West African nation’s human rights record, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Textron AirLand’s Scorpion ISR-Strike aircraft (Photo courtesy Textron)

Textron AirLand’s Scorpion ISR-Strike aircraft
(Photo courtesy Textron)

A senior Nigerian air force officer expressed concern a deal could be blocked on human rights grounds after an earlier effort to acquire combat helicopters was blocked over the issue. The Nigeria air force currently relies on a fleet of older jets, including Chinese-made F-7 planes and European Alpha Jets.

Textron, the largest maker of business aircraft, and AirLand have been marketing the Scorpion military jet as a low-cost option for many nations that can’t afford more traditional and expensive designs.

 

 

 

 

November 20, 2014 at 11:58 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (October 24, 2014)

Pair of Hunters

 U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Peter Reft

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Peter Reft

Two U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II aircraft prepare to take off from Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The Harriers, which can take off and land vertically like a helicopter, were participating in Red Flag-Alaska 15-1.

Red Flag-Alaska is a series of Pacific Air Forces field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation forces. It hones skills in combined offensive counter-air, interdiction and close air support missions as well as practicing large force training in a simulated combat environment.

The pilots are assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 311. 

To see more photos of Harriers, F-16 Fighting Falcons and EA-18G Growlers as well as runway operations coping with heavy snows in Alaska, click here.

October 24, 2014 at 1:21 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (September 26, 2014)

Air War.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Bruch

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Matthew Bruch

A pair of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq early in the morning of September 23, 2014, after conducting airstrikes in Syria. These aircraft were part of a large coalition strike package that was the first wave to strike Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL) targets in Syria. The United States has been conducting airstrikes against ISIL militants besieging villages and towns in northern Iraq since August 8.

But the September 23 strikes by U.S. and partner nation aircraft — including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — were the first in Syrian territory. Pentagon officials said the Syrian government was notified through the United Nations that the United States intended to take action against ISIL — which is also fighting the regime of President Bashir Assad — and Syrian air defenses remained in a passive mode during the air raids.

To see more photos of the raid, click here.

The Defense Department has a special page on its website dedicated to the air war against ISIL and humanitarian relief air drops to people driven from their homes by the terrorists.

 

September 26, 2014 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

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