Archive for September, 2017

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.

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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

FRIDAY FOTO (September 8, 2017)

Not a Toy.

FRIFO 9-8-2017 Mini Drone

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Michaela R. Gregory)

Marine Corps Lance Corporal Ryan Skinner, with the 1st Battalion of the 6th Marine Regiment prepares to fly the Mark-2 Instant Eye during the Infantry Platoon Battle Course as part of a Deployment for Training (DFT) at Fort Pickett, Virginia on August 15, 2017. The Instant Eye is a small unmanned aerial system to be deployed at the squad level for quick and local surveillance and reconnaissance.

September 8, 2017 at 1:10 am Leave a comment

SHAKO: Labor Day 2017

Hard Work.

Oops, we missed our annual Labor Day Tribute to the hard-working folks in the armed services again. However, a quick look at the blog’s archives indicates your 4GWAR editor has had this mental lapse every other year, or so.

51st LRS closes UFG

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Franklin R. Ramos)

As we’ve said in past Labor Day posts, 4GWAR likes to pause and take a look at some of the jobs people do in the military that don’t get a lot of attention. Not everybody in the service hits the beach, fires a missile, flies a plane or jumps out of one. So here is a short look at the less glamorous — but still important — jobs that keep the U.S. military ready and able to meet the next challenge — whatever and wherever it is.

Our first photo (above) shows Airman 1st Class Matthew Martinez tightening cargo chains onto a truck at Osan Air Base in South Korea. The photo was taken Wednesday (September 6, 2017). Martinez is a vehicle operator assigned to the 51st Logistics Readiness Squadron. Even the Air Force needs ground transportation.

ARNG delivers hay to landlocked livestock

(Army National Guard photo by Sergeant 1st Class Malcolm McClendon)

Our next photo shows a Texas National Guardsman helping load hay onto Texas and Ohio National Guard helicopters. The hay was going to livestock stranded near Beaumont, Texas in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. This photo was taken Tuesday (September 5, 2017). From hurricanes and tornadoes to wildfires and overseas deployments, the National Guard has got to be ready for anything these days.

Sailors Perform Catapult Maintenance

(U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Alexander P. Akre)

Like the airman in our first photo, these two sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis are using a simple tool and elbow grease to get the job done. Seamen Layton Prado and Daniel Ridley tighten bolts with a torque wrench during maintenance on the carrier flight deck. This photo was taken August 28, 2017 when the Stennis was in port at Bremerton, Washington, training for future operations.

LABOR DAY 2017 Marine Corps

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Tyler W. Stewart)

We haven’t forgotten the Marines. Here is Corporal Natasha Williams helping build a structure at Landing Zone Plover at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina on August 11, 2017. The structure will be used by students at the Marine Corps Engineer School to practice breaching procedures (like blowing open a door, when kicking it down doesn’t work). Williams is a combat engineer assigned to the 8th Engineer Support Battalion.

LABOR DAY 2017 Coast Guard (2)

(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Jordan Akiyama)

We didn’t forget the Coast Guard, either, although they do so many daring things on, above and off the water, it was hard to find a photo of someone doing something “routine.”   Here we see Petty Officer 3rd Class Zachary Hensley, a machinery technician stationed at Galveston, Texas with a Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team. He was repairing a range light channel marker when this photo was taken on Sunday (September 3, 2017). The marker was damaged during Hurricane Harvey on Bolivar Peninsula, Texas. Take a look at the background to get an idea of how high up he and his teammates have climbed.

Well that’s our story. Hope you had a good Labor Day holiday and if you’re traveling near the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, or the southeast Atlantic Coast this weekend — be smart, stay safe.

*** *** ***

SHAKOSHAKO 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.

West Point cadets

(U.S. Army photo via Wikipedia)

September 7, 2017 at 11:29 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (September 1, 2017)

BIG GUN.

3-29th FA Regiment conducts Fire Coordination Exercise

(U.S. Army photo by Gertrud Zach)

Soldiers conduct a fire coordination exercise with an M109A6 Paladin at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany, August 21, 2017. These soldiers are assigned to Battery B, 3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment.

The Paladin is not a tank but a self-propelled howitzer, a field artillery piece that fires its shells at a high trajectory.

This what it looks like when it fires that big gun.

Combined Resolve IX

(U.S. Army photo by Sergeant Matthew Hulett).

 

 

September 1, 2017 at 10:55 am Leave a comment


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