FRIDAY FOTO (July 29, 2016)

Flying Blind.18th SFS members undergo OC spray training

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Corey M. Pettis.

Airman Joshua Lenaire, whose job is providing security at U.S. Air Force facilities, uses a training baton to subdue a simulated attacker in a red-man suit. Look closely and you’ll see Lenaire is working at a disadvantage. He’s been sprayed in the face with  pepper spray. Military security training: It ain’t beanbag.

This session was photographed July 13 at Kadena Air Base, Japan. Lenaire is a response force member assigned to the 18th Security Forces Squadron.

Why is it called a RedMan suit? Three guesses. Actually, in addition to its bright color, this protective training suit is marketed by Redman Training Gear.

July 29, 2016 at 8:40 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (July 22, 2016)

A Delicate Balance.

FRIFOTO 7-22-2016 CANADIAN HILLSIDE HELO

Canadian forces photo by Sgt Marc-André Gaudreault.

They call this insertion-and-extraction training.

U.S. Marines and Canadian soldiers board a Royal Canadian Air Force CH-147F Chinook helicopter balanced carefully if not precariously, on a hillside at Camp Pendleton, California during Rim of the Pacific 2016.

The biennial multi-national exercise, known as RIMPAC, is being held this year in and around Hawaii as well as in southern California locations like Camp Pendleton. Participants in RIMPAC, which began June 30 and runs through August 4, include 25,000 service members from 27 nations, including–for the first time–the People’s Republic of China. The equipment involved includes 45 ships, five submarines and more than 200 aircraft, according to the Defense Department.

The Canadian soldiers are snipers, pathfinders and reconnaissance members assigned to the 2nd Battalion Royal 22nd Regiment.

To learn more, click here and here.

July 22, 2016 at 1:04 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (July 8, 2016)

Danger Zone.Engine is go

U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sergeant Zachary Wolf.

The spinning propeller of this U.S. Air Force Super Tucano forms a perfect pair of circles but the sign painted on the tarmac in front of its shelter indicates the risk of getting to close.

The A-29 Super Tucano , manufactured by Brazil’s Embraer, is a single engine turboprop aircraft designed for light attack, counter insurgency, close air support and aerial reconnaissance missions.The aircraft is also used for training pilots.

This A-29 is with the 81st Fighter Squadron based at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia. The squadron conducts combat training for Afghan air force pilots and maintainers in the aircraft.

Under a U.S.-funded $427 million contract, a total of 20 A-29s are going to the Afghan Air Force with the last to be delivered to Afghanistan by 2018, according to the Military.com website.

The Pentagon said A-29s manned by Afghan pilots trained in the U.S. conducted the first close air support missions by  the fledgling Afghan Air Force on April 14 , according to Military.com.

To see a video of the Super Tucano in action, click here.

July 8, 2016 at 1:32 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (July 1, 2016)

Don’t Blink.

160628-N-KK394-143

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Anderson W. Branch

This is what a U.S. Navy Super Hornet looks like a split second before it launches off the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. This F/A-18E Super Hornet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86 — known as the Sidewinders — was captured by the camera just before departing the carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) in the Mediterranean Sea.

Just behid and to the left of the Super Hornet, you can see the steam cloud rising from the steam-powered catapult that essentially hurls aircraft off the carrier deck which is too short for a normal takeoff. Click here to see a video of a catapult assisted carrier launch.

The Eisenhower is deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led campaign against the violent extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State. The U.S. government calls the Islamist terror group the Islamic state in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Air crews from the “Ike” launched strikes against the Islamic State/ISIL forces in Iraq starting Tuesday (June 28), according to Navy Times. The Eisenhower relieved the homeward-bound USS Harry S. Truman, which has been on station in the Eastern Mediterranean since December, supporting the 6th Fleet’s campaign against the terrorist group.

 

July 1, 2016 at 4:25 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (June 24, 2016)

Rope Trick.

FRIDAY FOTO 6-24-2016 JUNGLE SCHOOL

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sergeant Candace Mundt

A soldier with the U.S. Army’s 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry Division pulls himself out of a hanging barrel during Jungle Warfare School near Yemen, Gabon.
These soldiers from Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, of the 7th Regiment were attending the French Jungle Warfare School as part of U.S. Army Africa’s exercise Central Accord 2016. CA16 is an annual, joint military exercise to practice and demonstrate proficiency in conducting peacekeeping operations.

To see more photos from this exercise, click here.

 

 

June 24, 2016 at 2:48 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (June 18, 2016)

Beard Bump.

2016 DoD Warrior Games

DoD photo by Roger Wollenberg

Veterans Fred Lewis (left) and Victor Sassoon — members of the U.S. Special Operations Command volleyball team –bump beards for good luck after beating Team Army in sitting volleyball during the 2016 Department of Defense Warrior Games at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York  June 15, 2016.

What’s sitting volleyball, you ask. It’s a tough competition for injured service members who can’t play volleyball standing up. See the photo below.

2016 DoD Warrior Games: Sitting Volleyball

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Carlin Leslie

The Air Force sitting volleyball team competes against the U.S. Special Operations Command team during the 2016 Warrior Games at the U.S. Military Academy.

For more photos of the Warrior Games, click here.

 

June 17, 2016 at 1:15 am Leave a comment

SHAKO: A D-Day Memory Repeated

Twice Told Tale: June 5, 1944.

In honor of the 72nd anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy during World War II, we thought we’d re-run this post from the 40th anniversary in 2014. – John M. Doyle

A D-Day Story – With a Twist.

ike and 101st

Gen. Eisenhower talks with 101st Airborne Division paratroopers before D-Day. (Defense Dept. photo)

All the attention and remembrances that the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France is getting recently jogged my memory about another D-Day story I uncovered 30 years ago – for the 40th anniversary of history’s biggest amphibious invasion.

Your 4GWAR editor was South Bend, Indiana correspondent for the Associated Press when someone told me about a priest then serving at the University of Notre Dame who had a great D-Day story. Monsignor Francis L. Sampson had been an Army chaplain serving with the 501st Parachute Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. (The same division but a different regiment from the one featured in the book and cable TV series “Band of Brothers.”)

Sampson parachuted into Normandy along with the 101st the night before D-Day, was captured by the Waffen SS and almost shot on June 6. After the Germans realized he was only a chaplain they let him return to the barn where he had been tending wounded paratroopers too badly hurt to be moved. He and an Army medic tended both German and U.S. wounded until American forces overran the area and captured the Germans who had captured Sampson.

He went on to jump into Holland in late 1944 in Operation Market Garden (“A Bridge too Far”), was captured again at the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 and liberated from a grim German POW camp by Russian troops in April 1945.

Pretty good story, I thought, as I pitched it to my editor in Indianapolis. But he told me about a Frenchman, now a local business magazine publisher who was a small boy in Normandy on that night in June, 1944. Bernard Marie, who was then in his mid 40s, was offering a free lunch in Indianapolis to any U.S. vet who could prove he was in Normandy on what became known as “The Longest Day.”

We decided to combine both men’s stories after I interviewed them and also put them in touch with each other. Here is the beginning of the story that ran in U.S. newspapers on the afternoon of June 5, 1984:

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – On the night of June 5, 1944, Bernard Marie spent his fifth birthday huddled in a cellar 25 miles from Omaha Beach. Monsignor Francis L. Sampson flew through German anti-aircraft fire over Normandy, convinced he was going to die.

The story had some humorous and harrowing anecdotes. My favorite was when the first U.S. paratroopers broke into little Bernard’s house. He thought their four-letter-word cussing sounded like German (think about it). And was terrified the Germans had come to get his family. But when he saw the American flag patch sewn on every trooper’s sleeve he knew things were going to be all right, he told me.

Back to 1984: Press photographers captured the embrace of the 72-year-old Catholic priest and the grown up French boy – even though they had never met before – amid scores of applauding WWII vets.

But the story doesn’t end there. While trying to find a complete copy of the original story, which so far hasn’t happened. I came across Monsignor Sampson’s obituary in the Des Moines Register (he was a native of Iowa). I learned that he had stayed in the Army rising to the rank of major general (two stars) and had served as the Army’s Chief of Chaplains from 1967 to 1971. He died in January 1996.

Fr_ Francis L Sampson grave marker 1912 to 1996

But what really got my attention was a sidebar in the obituary, that noted an action Sampson performed in the days immediately after D-Day, may have inspired – at least in part – the movie “Saving Private Ryan.” See for yourself, here.

For more on this remarkable career that spanned three wars and a lot of souls in need, click here.

To learn more about D-Day, click here for the Defense Department’s 72nd Anniversary page.

SHAKO

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.

 

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Entry filed under: National Security and Defense, SHAKO, Skills and Training, Traditions. Tags: , , , , , .

THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (June 1-June 7, 1814) FRIDAY FOTO ADVISORY

 

June 6, 2016 at 3:33 pm Leave a comment

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