Posts filed under ‘Aircraft’

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.

488px-Shako-p1000580

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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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

FRIDAY FOTO (August 25, 2017)

Cascade of Clouds.

FRI FO 8-25-2017 KC-130J and Cascades

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Corporal Joseph Abrego)

The cascades mountain range and Mount Baker (we presume) come into view as a Marine Corps KC-130J Hercules aircraft conducts tactical navigation training near Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington. The photo was taken on August 18, 2017. The aircraft is assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 352.

August 25, 2017 at 7:15 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (August 11, 2017)

Blue Lightning.

Thunderstruck

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman J.T. Armstrong)

Lightning strikes behind a B-52H Stratofortress at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota on August 8, 2017. The B-52 can conduct strategic attacks, close-air support, air interdiction, offensive counter-air and maritime operations. It can carry up to 70,000 pounds of bombs and has a range of 8,800 miles. If these planes were humans, some of them would qualify for Social Security. Yes, they’re that old.

This big bird is one of 58 B-52s still on active duty with the Air Force. Eighteen more are with the Air Force Reserve.

August 11, 2017 at 12:30 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (August 4, 2017)

Night of the Drone.

Panther Storm

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Andrew Lee)

By now regular visitors to 4GWAR have seen many photos shot through a night vision device, but this one reminds us of a poster for a horror or science fiction movie.

Here we see Army Specialist Derek Opthof preparing to launch an RQ-11 Raven drone (unmanned aerial vehicle or UAV, is the military term). This photo was shot July 27 during exercise Panther Storm at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The deployment readiness exercise tests the 82nd Airborne Division‘s ability to rapidly deploy its Global Response Force anywhere in the world within a few hours.

About the Raven: Yes, even in this high tech, digital age, some smaller drones have to be launched by hand. Here’s a three-minute video on YouTube that shows how it works in daylight. Click on the RQ-11 Raven link above to learn more at the manufacturer, AeroVironment’s website.

August 4, 2017 at 1:37 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (July 28, 2017)

Desert Encounter.

FRIFO 7-28-2017 Stryker Apache

(U.S. Army photo by Private First Class Austin Anyzeski)

A U.S. Army AH-64 Apache helicopter assigned to the 4th Infantry Division’s 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, flies over a simulated enemy armored vehicle during an engagement at National Training Center, Fort Irwin, California in the Mojave Desert. The “engagement” is part of an exercise to challenge the Brigade’s ability to defend against a near-peer opposing force. In other words, fighting another nation’s military rather than insurgents or terrorists. The photo was taken July 1, 2017.

To see the kind of training they do at this National Training Center, click here to see a short (3:23 minute) video with no narration. Or click here for a narrated 20:00 minute video.

July 28, 2017 at 1:18 pm Leave a comment

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