FRIDAY FOTO (October 20, 2017)

Looking for Trouble.

2nd LAAD Stinger Range

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Cody J. Ohira)

Marines search for an aerial target during a live-fire training exercise at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, October 10, 2017. The weapon the Marine in the middle is holding is a Stinger — a man-portable, shoulder-fired, heat-seeking, anti-aircraft, guided missile.

The Stinger provides short-range air defense to counter high-speed, low-level, and ground attack aircraft. Stingers have an identification, friend or foe (IFF) subsystem that helps the gunner and team leader identify friendly aircraft.

One interesting factoid about the Stinger, the Marines’ gunner handbook warns that when firing, the gunner and assistant must hold their breath until the trigger is released to avoid inhaling toxic fumes.

These Marines are assigned to the 2nd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion.

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October 20, 2017 at 6:34 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (October 13, 2017)

Ready to Rock.

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(U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Spencer Roberts)

Amid clouds arising from the steam-powered catapult and waiting flight deck crew, an F/A-18E Super Hornet prepares to take off from the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Pacific Ocean on October 10, 2017. Named for the 26th president, who was also an assistant secretary of the Navy, the aircraft carrier is on a deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet (Middle East) and 7th Fleet (Asia Pacific) areas of operation.

Oh, and by the way, Happy 242nd Birthday U.S. Navy! 4GWAR will have a photo essay on the Navy, Sunday (October 15).

October 13, 2017 at 6:44 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (October 6, 2017)

Osprey Power.

Guajataca Dam strengthening operations

(U.S. Army photo by Private First Class Deomontez Duncan)

Marines attach a Jersey barrier to a hovering V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft while working to reinforce the Guajataca Dam in Puerto Rico, October 3, 2017, in Hurricane Maria’s aftermath.

More than 11,000 U.S. service members are in Puerto Rico providing logistical, medical and aviation support to help commonwealth and local emergency personnel following the devastating Category storm that struck the island and the U.S. Virgin Islands September 20.

For more photos, click here.

October 6, 2017 at 1:40 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (September 29, 2017)

Invictus.

Invictus Games 2017

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Daniel Luksan)

Medically retired U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Sarah Rudder competes in the 200-meter dash in Toronto, Canada during Invictus Games 2017, an international Paralympic-style event. Rudder, who lost her leg due to injuries suffered at the Pentagon on 9/11, won seven gold medals at last year’s games in Orlando, Florida.

The poem Invictus, by English Victorian poet, William Ernest Henley, himself an amputee, ends with the famous lines:

I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul.

For more photos, click here, here, here and here.

September 29, 2017 at 1:38 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (September 22, 2017)

Sunrise, Sunset.

Deep Strike II 2017

(U.S.Marine Corps photo by Corporal Justin Huffty)

Marines in a light armored vehicle (LAV) provide security during Exercise Deep Strike II in California on September 12, 2017. The Marines are assigned to Bravo Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion.

Like Benjamin Franklin at the Constitutional Convention, we’re unsure whether this week’s Friday Foto shows a rising sun or a setting sun, but if you were in this photo (or were the photographer) please let us know.

September 22, 2017 at 3:54 pm Leave a comment

SHAKO: Air Force Birthday 2017

Happy 70th USAF!

Air National Guard aides in the relief effort of Hurricane Harvey

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jordan Castelan)

On this day (September 18) 70 years ago, President Harry Truman signed into law the National Security Act of 1947 which created the U.S. Air Force as a separate branch of the U.S. armed forces. Before that, the Air Force was a part of the U.S. Army.

Rather than commemorate the day with a single photo of fighter jets streaking across the sky, we thought we’d show a range of photos, showing some of the other things the Air Force does.

The photo above shows Senior Airman Austin Hellweg leading a family to an HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter in Beaumont, Texas for transport to a safer location during Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in August. Most people think National Guard or Homeland Security when you mention natural disasters like hurricanes. But in this violent hurricane season, the Air Force (as well as the Navy, Coast Guard, Army and Marine Corps) have all provided assistance, following Harvey and Hurricane Irma, in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

U.S. Fifth-Generation Fighters, Strategic Bombers Conduct Show of Force with Allies in Response to North Korea Missile Launch

(U.S Air Force photo by Staff Sergean. Joshua Smoot)

In this next photo, a B-1B Lancer bomber prepares to receive fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker during a mission from Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base into Japanese air space and over the Korean Peninsula. After refueling on August 31, 2017, the Lancers flew with Japanese and South Korean fighter jets as part of a demonstration of America’s  commitment to its allies in the region.

Air Commandos participate in joint force exercise

(U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sergeant Jeffrey Curtin)

Air Force personnel not only fly aircraft, sometimes they jump out of them. Special Tactics Airmen with the 123rd Special Tactics Squadron execute a high altitude, low open (HALO) jump from an MC-130H Combat Talon II aircraft, flown by the 15th Special Operations Squadron. The jump came during a total force exercise mission over Terre Haute, Indiana on July 8, 2017.

Hurricane Irma

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Corban Lundborg)

In the photo above, Air Force Reserve Major Nicole Mitchell records weather information while flying into Hurricane Irma September 8, 2017 on a WC-130J Super Hercules. Mitchell is an aerial reconnaissance weather officer assigned to the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron. To see more photos of this mission, click here.

To learn more about the Air Force and its history — which really goes back more than 100 years, click here.

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SHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, billed headgear worn by many armies from the Napoleonic era to about the time of the American Civil War. It remains a part of the dress or parade uniform of several military organizations like the corps of cadets at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York.

September 18, 2017 at 2:50 pm 1 comment

FRIDAY FOTO (September 14, 2017)

Above the Inferno.

FRIFO 9-15-2017

(Air National Guard photo by Technical Sergeant Jeff Allen)

An Air National Guard pilot flying a C-130J cargo plane follows a Forest Service plane under a large column of smoke while preparing to drop retardant on the Pier Fire southeast of Fresno, California. The photo was taken August 29, 2017.

September 15, 2017 at 12:41 am Leave a comment

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