Posts filed under ‘Skills and Training’

FRIDAY FOTO: May 6, 2016

Eerie Viewing.

459AS sharpens their rescue capabilities

U.S. Air Force photo by Yasuo Osakabe

Night vision goggles cast an eerie green glow on the eye of Air Force Technical Sergeant Christopher Rector peers through them during a training flight over U.S. Army Garrison Yokohama North Dock in Japan last month (April 25, 2016).

The internal lights of his UH-1N Iroquois helicopter — known everywhere as a Huey — paint an equally eerie glow on his fearsomely decorated crash helmet. A lot of helicopter crewmen in the U.S. military decorate the front of their crash helmets to look like skulls or orcs — just like some NHL hockey goalies.

Rector is a special missions aviator evaluator assigned to the 459th Airlift Squadron, which frequently trains to stay prepared for potential real-world contingencies and operations.

May 6, 2016 at 2:43 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO: April 29, 2016

Sapper Haul.

Army engineers compete in 2016 Best Sapper Competition

Army photo by Sgt. Anthony Hewitt

No, defense budget cuts haven’t come to this.

These two Army paratroopers are hauling this Humvee as part of the Best Sapper Competition at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, home of the Army Engineers School.

Sapper is an ancient term for military engineers. In olden days they designed and dug the trenches, built the forts and figured out how to break into castles.

These days, a Sapper is usually a combat engineer who has completed the 28-day Sapper Leader Course, and earned the red Sapper uniform tab. That tab says they are among the best at their complex and dangerous craft, which includes bridge-building, laying or clearing minefields, demolitions, creating field defenses as well as building, road and airfield construction and repair.

To earn the Sapper tab you have to graduate from the Sapper course, but you don’t have to be an engineer, according to the Army.

The paratroopers in this photo, Army 1st Sergeant Jose Casillas and Sergeant 1st Class Tim Shay are assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division’s 307th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

What’s the difference between a 1st Sergeant and a Sergeant 1st Class? Click here for an explanation.

April 29, 2016 at 12:21 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO: April 15, 2016

Now Boarding.

FRIFO 4-15-2016 pARATROOPERS c-17.

Air Force photo by Alejandro Pena

Paratroopers board and position their gear inside an Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft before participating in a night jump at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, March 31, 2016.

To see what a night drop looks like, click here.

April 15, 2016 at 1:07 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO: April 8, 2016

Lonely Vista.

All Secured: U.S. Marines Remain Alert in Iraq

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sergeant Rick Hurtado

U.S. Marine Sergeant Josh Greathouse scans the area during a perimeter patrol in Al Taqaddum, Iraq on March 21, 2016.

Greathouse is a member of 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air  (SPMAGTF) Ground Task Force.

 

April 8, 2016 at 1:36 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY, April 1, 2016

I Robot, You Pitcher.

FRIFO 4-1-2016 EOD Robot baseball

U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Mickey Treigle

No, there wasn’t a bomb threat at a spring training baseball game in Phoenix, Arizona late last month. Quite the contrary, the Talon bomb disposal robot shown here is bringing out the ball for the first pitch of the March 25 game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants as part of Navy Week festivities.

We assume the sailor in white was going to throw that first pitch, not the Explosive Ordnance Disposal operator in full bomb squad gear to his right. Normally, the EOD operator would be using the Talon to examine, and if necessary, defuse a bomb, from a safe distance.

April 1, 2016 at 12:17 am Leave a comment

SPECIAL OPERATIONS: New Commanders at SOCOM, CENTCOM

Ranger In, Ranger Out.

Votel relinquishes command of USSOCOM

Army General Joseph Votel, former commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, and Defense Secretary Ashton Carter during the change-of-command ceremony March 30 at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. Newly promoted Army General Raymond “Tony” Thomas assumes command of SOCOM and Votel becomes commander of U.S. Central Command. (Photo by Technical Sergeant Angelita M. Lawrence)

Four star Army General Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM), has taken over as commander of U.S. Central Command (CENCOM), which oversees U.S. operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.

At the same time Votel moved over to CENTCOM, Army General Raymond “Tony” Thomas replaced him at Special Operations Command.

Both men are Army Rangers and both are former commanders of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) — a SOCOM component which oversees the hunt for terrorists among other tasks. Thomas has also served in the 1st Special Operations Forcers Operational Deteachment — Delta, the highly secretive Army commando unit known as Delta Force.

160330-F-YT673-465

Army General Raymond “Tony” Thomas at the change of command ceremony at MacDill Air Force Base at Tampa, Florida.

Both Thomas and Votel are also 1980 graduates of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point New York.

At a brief press conference before the change of command ceremonies in Tampa, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said “accelerating the defeat” of the terrorist group that calls itself Islamic State is President Obama’s top priority. Carter added that the United States and its allies would be successful in Iraq and Syria in defeating Islamic State (also known as ISIS and ISIL), but the group has spread around the world and the United States may be fighting the terror group on U.S. soil. “It’s going to require effort around the world, and yes, it’s going to require protection against the homeland,” Carter added.

mapMidEast

U.S. Central Command’s area of operations (in color). (CENCOM  map)

 

 

 

March 31, 2016 at 10:48 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (March 25, 2016)

Foot Cavalry.

2 CR conducts FTX/community engagement event

U.S. Army photo by Staff Sergeant Michael Behlin

Troopers with the 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment prepare to clear a building during urban assault training last month in Paupliai, Lithuania.

The soldiers rehearsed their tactics in preparation for an upcoming live fire exercise at Gaiziunai Training Area, Lithuania.

Editor’s NOTE: Do to an editing miscue, this week’s FRIDAY FOTO did not post when filed 24 hours ago. We apologize for the delay.

March 26, 2016 at 12:32 am Leave a comment

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