Posts tagged ‘helicopter’
On the Brink
A U.S. Marine prepares to exit the back of an MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft high above Djibouti near the Horn of Africa.
The Marines — from the Maritime Raid Force with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) – were conducting parachute operations with French special operations forces in May.
The Osprey can take off and land like a helicopter and fly like an airplane. The one is this photo is assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 266. The 26th MEU is a Marine Air-Ground Task Force deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility with the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group.
To see more spectacular photos of this jump, as well as what the Osprey looks like in flight — and the very interesting headgear of the French parachutists, click here.
Now That’s A Different Look
Army Sgt. Kyle Francione, wearing a uniquely decorated flying helmet (click on the photo to enlarge image), peers from a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, as it flies to pick up soldiers attending the Mobile Pathfinder Course. The sergeant is with the 207th Aviation Regiment, Alaska Army National Guard,
More than 40 soldiers tested their skills as they conducted parachute drops onto Malamute Drop Zone in Alaska. The three-week course, conducted by the U.S. Army Pathfinder School at Fort Benning, Georgia., instructs students in air traffic control, medical evacuation operations, sling load operations, helicopter landing zones, air assault planning, pathfinder employment, and drop zone operations.
Pathfinders are the soldiers who jump into a remote or hostile area before the other paratroops to mark and scout the area then coordinate the operation from the ground. Those soldiers who complete the course will earn the coveted Pathfinder Badge.
To see more photos of the Pathfinder Course including parachute drops, click here.
It is a puzzlement
Sailors organize cargo poles on the flight deck during a weapons transfer aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis in the Pacific Ocean, on April 18, 2013. The Stennis is returning from an 8-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 7th Fleet areas of responsibility — the Middle East and the Pacific. Click on the photo to see an enlarged image.
U.S. Navy Seaman Isia Washington, an aviation ordnanceman, directs an MH-60S Seahawk helicopter from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8 — known as the Eightballers — to land on the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) underway in the Pacific Ocean, April 10, 2013.
The Stennis Carrier Strike Group has been deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts.
On and on and on
U.S. soldiers watch from the rear ramp of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter while flying over the mountains in the Khas Uruzgan district of Afghanistan’s Uruzgan province, March 16, 2013. The soldiers are crew chiefs, who along with Afghan commandos, provided security for a government-led shura, or meeting.
Please click on the photo to see a larger image.
Navy League’s Expo
Your intrepid 4GWAR editor is at the Navy League’s 2013 Sea-Air-Space Expo at the Gaylord National Convention Center, National Harbor, Maryland (it’s across the Potomac from Alexandria, Virginia).
The annual gathering brings together Navy and Coast Guard officials from all over — including many foreign countries — as well as defense contractors — large and small — and scribes like your editor to find out what’s the Navy’s up to and where it thinks it’s going in the future.
We’re helping the folks at Seapower, the Navy League’s magazine, cover the scores of briefings by Navy and Coast Guard commanders, government officials, big defense contractors and organizations dedicated to the sea services.
On Monday we wrote about the Navy’s plans for unmanned aircraft on nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, the successes of the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and what Naval Air Systems Command is doing to integrate new systems into the fleet while making them interoperable with existing systems and platforms.
You can see all three stories among lots of others written by the staff of Seapower by clicking here.
U.S. airmen and soldiers offload a UH64 Black Hawk from a C-5 Galaxy cargo lifter at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. The C-5, which can carry two of these helos, has served the Air Force since 1969 and continues to provide vital heavy air lift to troops worldwide. To see more photos of this gynormous aircraft — the largest cargo plane in the Air Force — and its “little brother,” the C-17 Globemaster III, click here.
Please remember to click on the photo to enlarge the image.
An MV-22 Osprey prepares for take off for a night low-altitude training mission at Antonio Bautista Air Base in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines.
The crew of the hybrid rotor and fixed wing aircraft, which is conducting day and night low-altitude training, is assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
A New Gold Rush
As it raises its defense spending as part of a strategy to secure its borders and offshore oil deposits, Brazil has become a big draw for foreign defense contractors like BAE Systems, Eurocopter, Boeing, Saab and Dassault, according to the Financial Times.
Brazil is building a fleet of five submarines — one of them nuclear-powered — with French contractor DCNS. And aircraft from France (Dassault’s Rafale), the United States (Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet) and Sweden (Saab’s JAS-39 Gripen) are all vying for Brazil’s much delayed selection of a contractor to build a new fleet of more than 30 multi-role jet fighters.
Brazil is Latin America’s largest country and the sixth-largest economy in the world.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute ranks Brazil 10th in military spending in 2011 — up from 11th in 2010. Brazil’s military budget was $35.4 billion, SIPRI calculated, or 1.5 percent of Brazil’s gross domestic product. it’s defense spending has risen 19 percent since 2002, even though it dropped 8.2 percent from 2010 to 2011.
Overall, Latin America’s defense spending dropped 3.3 percent in 2011. It was up 5.1 percent in 2010. The biggest increase was Mexico’s: up 5.7 percent in 2011 and up by 52 percent since 2002 — largely due to increased military involvement in the country’s war with drug cartels, SIPRI said in an April 2012 report.
Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer S.A. has signed an agreement with Anglo-Italian helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland establishing a joint venture to explore producing helicopters in Brazil, both companies announced recently.
Preliminary studies by Embraer and AgustaWestland indicate strong market potential for twin engine, medium lift helicopters — especially to meet the needs of the of the offshore oil and gas market. Other key market sectors, such as the military, “show promising potential as well,” the companies said.
France Steps in
Events are moving fast in the West African nation of Mali since Islamist militants seized a key government outpost late last week on the border of the desert region where Tuareg separatists and violent Islamic fundamentalists have seized an area the size of France.
Last Friday (Jan. 11), a day after Mali’s president wrote French President Francois Hollande seeking military assistance to stop the rebel forces’ advance, France launched air strikes against the al Qaeda-linked rebels.
Since then, the airstrikes by Mirage and Rafale fighter/bombers and Gazelle attack helicopters have driven the Tuareg-Islamist rebels from the town of Konna where they threatened to advance on the larger city of Mopti and its airfield. (See map). One helicopter pilot was fatally wounded during an early airstrike but the helicopter was able to return to base. There are reports of hundreds of dead rebels and Malian soldiers. The French also bombed rebel strongholds in Gao and elsewhere in the north.
While the French are the only troops engaged in air combat missions, logistics and air transportation of armored vehicles and other equipment have been supplied by British C-15 Globemaster heavy lift aircraft. The United States will supply manned and unmanned aircraft for reconnaissance and intelligence missions as well cargo planes for transportation, while the Canadians are sending a single C-17 cargo plane to fly non-combat logistical missions. All three allies have said they would not send ground troops to aid the French. And the French do not plan to deploy combat infantry to attack the rebels. Germany said it will support French troops but ruled out sending German combat forces to West Africa.
Today (Jan. 14) the Islamist rebels fought back, seizing the town of Diabaly, less than 250 miles from Mali’s capital, Bamako. The rebels pledged to make the French pay a heavy price for their intervention. “France has opened the gates of hell for all the French,” a spokesman for one of the rebel factions. Meanwhile, France is evacuating its citizens from the area. An estimated 50,000 French citizens and foreign nationals live in Mali, a former French colony. The French government is also taking extra security precautions in Paris, Nice and other parts of France.
The French defense ministry says it plans to deploy as many as 2,500 troops in Mali from France and French outposts in other former colonies like Chad and Burkina Faso. The French president, Hollande, says France’s Operation Serval only seeks to keep things stable until an estimated force of 3,000 African troops from various nations in the region can be organized and transported to Mali.
Reports from Reuters, the Guardian, NPR, the New York Times, Toronto Globe and Mail, French Defense Ministry