Posts tagged ‘helicopter’

THE FRIDAY FOTO (January 27, 2023)

THE COLOR OF THE WIND.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sergeant Jesus Sepulveda Torres) Click  on the photo to enlarge the image.

MV-22 Osprey aircraft assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162  prepare to take-off for a simulated raid during Marine Expeditionary Unit Exercise I at Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue, North Carolina on December 20, 2022. The raid was the culminating Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) mission for the exercise.

The colorful circles are made by two LED tip lights on the end of each rotor blade as they rotate. The colorful display has a practical safety purpose, it makes the Osprey more visible to other squadron aircraft in night flight formations (in a non-combat situation). On the ground, in the dark, the lights also alert other aircraft well as ground personnel nearby where the spinning blades are.

The Osprey can take off and land vertically like a helicopter but also fly horizontally (and faster) like and airplane when the rotors are tilted forward. These Ospreys are with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (26 MEU). An MEU, with about 2,000 Marines, a composite helicopter/tiltrotor squadron and a combat logistics battalion, is the smallest type of MAGTAF (pronounced MAG-TAFF) unit.

January 27, 2023 at 5:35 pm Leave a comment

SHAKO: Marines Have Their First Black Female Two-Star General

ANOTHER FIRST FOR THE MARINES.

The U.S. Marine Corps now has its first black female (two star) major general.

Brig. Gen. Lorna Mahlock, director of Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4), on August 31, 2018. (Department of Defense photo)

The Senate confirmed Major Gen. Lorna Mahlock for promotion on December 15, nine days after President Joe Biden nominated her for promotion along with seven other Marine Corps brigadier generals, according to the Pentagon.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Mahlock, 54, immigrated to Brooklyn, New York at the age of 17 in 1985. She enlisted in the Marine Corps three months later and became an air traffic controller. She became an officer through the Marines’ Enlisted Commissioning Education Program in 1991 after graduating from Marquette University.

Since then she has amassed multiple higher degrees including two masters degrees in Strategic Studies from the Army War College and the Naval Postgraduate School, according to Marine Corps Times.

Mahlock is currently serving as deputy director of Cybersecurity for Combat Support, at the National Security Agency, in Fort Meade, Maryland. Previous posts have included U.S. European Command in German, the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Japan and Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 38 in Southern California, Stars and Stripes reported.

Then Brigadier Gen. Lorna Mahlock, Chief Information Officer of the Marine Corps, networks after addressing Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s (TMCF) 18th Annual Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. on October 29, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Corporal Naomi May). Click on photo to enlarge image.

It has been a remarkable year of firsts for women and minorities in the armed services:

Master Chief Information Systems Technician (Submarine) Angela Koogler was named the first female top enlisted sailor on a U.S. Navy submarine, reporting for her new post in late August. Koogler’s appointment as chief of boat on the ballistic missile submarine USS Louisiana is a historic first for the Navy, which only began assigning female officers to submarines in 2011 and female enlisted sailors in 2016.

Also in August, the U.S. Senate confirmed Marine Corps Lieutenant General Michael E. Langley for promotion to the rank of general, becoming the first Black Marine appointed to the rank of four-star general in Marine Corps history. He was also confirmed as head of U.S. Africa Command.

Additional similar achievements this year were identified by Military.com website, noting other firsts for women in the Navy and Marine Corps.

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SHAKO is an occasional 4GWAR posting on military history, traditions and culture. For the uninitiated, a shako is the tall, cylindrical headgear with a bill or visor worn by soldiers in 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.

 

December 20, 2022 at 11:30 pm Leave a comment

SHAKO: Happy Birthday U.S. National Guard!

From a Colonial Militia Unit …

The First Muster by Don Troiani (Courtesy U.S. National Guard). Click on photo to enlarge image.

On Tuesday, December 13, 2022, the U.S. National Guard celebrates its 386th birthday. Yes, that’s right. The National Guard is older the Army or the Navy — older even than the United States of America.

How is that even possible? Well, according to the Guard, the selection of December 13, 1636 is based upon the Defense Department practice of adopting the dates of initial authorizing legislation for organized units as their birthdates. For a more detailed explanation from a previous  National Guard press release, click here.

So, on December 13, 1636, the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony ordered the organization of the colony’s militia companies into three regiments: the North, South and East Regiments. The colonists had adopted the English militia system which obligated all males, between the ages of 16 and 60, to possess arms and participate in the defense of the community.

The early colonial militia drilled once a week and provided guard details each evening to sound the alarm in case of attack. Growing friction with Native Americans boiled over into brutal warfare in the 1630s, requiring the Massachusetts militia to be in a high state of readiness. The organization of the North, South and East Regiments increased efficiency and responsiveness. Although the exact date is not known, the first muster of the East Regiment took place in Salem, Massachusetts.

Later in the 17th and 18th centuries militias from Massachusetts and most of the other 13 colonies battled the French and their Indian allies in a series of conflicts known as the French and Indian wars. By 1775 they were fighting British redcoats in the war for independence.

The organizational descendants of those first Massachusetts militia regiments – the 181st Infantry, the 182nd Infantry, the 101st Field Artillery, and the 101st Engineer Battalion of the Massachusetts Army National Guard – share the distinction of being the oldest units in the United States military.
Of course the Air National Guard isn’t quite that old. The official birth date of the Air National Guard as a reserve component of the U.S. Air Force is September 18, 1947. On that date, the first Secretary of the Air Force was sworn in under provisions of the National Security Act of 1947. Soon afterwards, National Guard Army Air Forces units began to be transferred to the Air National Guard as a reserve component of the Air Force.
National Guard troops have served in nearly every U.S. conflict and war since 1636, and have responded to floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, civil disorders and other emergencies both in their home states and elsewhere.

In Katrina’s Wake By Gil Cohen. (Courtesy National Guard). Click on photo to enlarge image.

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina wrought devastation upon America’s Gulf Coast. Nearly 80,000 Guard members were already federalized to fight in the Iraq and Afghan wars when Katrina hit. Still, more than 51,000 Guardsmen and women from across the country quickly deployed to Louisiana and Mississippi to save lives and assist in recovery efforts.
Click here to see a brief (less than two minutes) video illustrating the duties and responsibilities of the Army National Guard and the Air Guard.
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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.

December 13, 2022 at 1:45 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (November 4, 2022)

Rocky Mountain High.

(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sergeant 1st Class Zach Sheely) Click on photo to enlarge the image.

An LUH-72 Lakota helicopter flies above mountainous terrain near Gypsum, Colorado on October 16, 2022. Gypsum is home of the Colorado National Guard’s High-altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site, or HAATS.

Run by full-time Colorado Army National Guard pilots, HAATS caters to rotory-wing military pilots from all over the world, including Slovenia, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany and the Republic of Georgia.

During the week-long course, pilots spend one day training in the classroom — learning the intricacies of power management in high-altitude mountainous terrain. On the other four days, they fly in and around the jagged peaks of the Rocky Mountains, at altitudes ranging from 6,500 feet at the airport to 14,000 feet.

“They teach hoist operations, how to land in small areas, how to operate at altitude, and how to take advantage of the winds and terrain to get more performance out of your helicopter than you might normally be able to,” said Army General Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau, during a recent visit to the school. Hokanson is also the Army Guard’s senior aviator.

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November being National American Indian Heritage Month, it’s worth noting that since the late 1940s, many U.S. Army helicopter models have been named for Native American tribes or nations. They range from the very large Boeing CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift transport helicopter to the smaller Bell OH-58 Kiowa armed reconnaissance helicopter.

Other helos carrying Native American names include the Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopter, the Hughes OH-6 Cayuse light observation/utility helicopter and the  Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk medium-lift utility helicopter, named for a Sauk war leader who resisted the forced removal of Midwest Indian tribes to lands across the Mississippi River.

Even the venerable Bell UH-1 utility chopper of Vietnam War fame — nicknamed the “Huey” because its original Army designation was HU-1 — was officially known as the Iroquois.

November 3, 2022 at 11:58 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (September 23, 2022)

ON A (ROTARY) WING AND A PRAYER.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Corporal Jonathan L. Gonzalez)

A Bell UH-1Y Venom utility helicopter (left) and a Bell AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 773, conduct flight operations near the Christ the Redeemer statue at Corcovado Mountain overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during exercise UNITAS LXIII, on September 12, 2022.

We haven’t focused much on U.S. Southern Command in a while here at 4GWAR, so this photo presents an opportunity to spotlight the work of this regional combatant command based at Doral, Florida near Miami. SOUTHCOM is responsible for defending U.S. security and interests of Latin America south of Mexico, including the waters adjacent to Central and South America and the Caribbean Sea.

Conducted every year since 1960, UNITAS (Latin for “unity’), is the world’s longest-running annual multinational maritime exercise. 4GWAR has been writing about UNITAS since 2015.

HMLA 773, headquartered at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, is part of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Forces Reserve in support of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force UNITAS LXIII.

This year Brazil celebrated its bicentennial, a historical milestone commemorating 200 years of the country’s independence.

September 22, 2022 at 11:56 pm Leave a comment

ROBOTS, DROIDS & DRONES: Taiwan Military Shoots Down Drone; U.S. Navy Thwarts Iran Seagoing Drone Capture; Micro Drones for Ukraine

UPDATE: Updates with Taiwan shooting drone

DEFENSE

Taiwan Shoots Down Unidentified Drone

Taiwan says it shot down an unidentified civilian drone Thursday (September 1) in restricted airspace over one of its islands just a few kilometers from mainland China.

The drone was spotted above Lion Islet in the Kinmen County grouping of islands controlled by Taiwan about two and half miles (4 kilometers) from the city of Xiamen, China. Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense said the drone was shot down after warning flares failed to drive it away, CNN reported.

Unidentified drones have been reported in the area for four days in a row but Thursday’s incident was the first time one was shot down by Taiwan. Two days earlier, (Tuesday, August 30), Taiwanese soldiers shot flares at three unidentified drones that flew near Kinmen and fired warning shots at one that re-entered the area.

It is not clear who was flying the drones. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was “not aware of the situation” and that it was “pointless for (Taiwan) to exaggerate the tension.”

On Friday (September 2), Taiwan Premier Su Tseng-chang said the drone shoot-down was the most “appropriate” thing to do after repeated warnings. Su added that China should exercise restraint, Reuters reported.

Speaking to reporters, Su said Taiwan had repeatedly issued warnings and “asked them not to encroach on our doorstep.”

Chinese forces have been exercising near Taiwan since early August, following the visit to Taipei, Taiwan’s capital by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — which infuriated Beijing. China views democratically-governed Taiwan as its own territory, despite the strong objections of the government in Taipei.

At least two videos of recent drone trips have circulated widely on Chinese social media, in one of which Taiwanese soldiers were seen throwing stones at the craft.

Su said the videos were made for China’s “propaganda at home,” adding to the anger of Taiwan’s people. China’s foreign ministry dismissed Taiwan’s complaints about drones as nothing “to make a fuss about.”

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Iranian Attempt to Grab U.S. Seagoing Drone Foiled

The U.S. Navy says it prevented an Iranian ship from capturing one of the 5th Fleet’s unmanned surface vessels in international waters of the Arabian Gulf on the night of August 29-30.

U.S. sailors observed an Iranian vessel, identified as the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) support ship Shahid Baziar towing a Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vessel (USV) in an attempt to detain it. The Navy patrol coastal ship USS Thunderbolt and MH-60S Sea Hawk launched from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26 in Bahrain responded.

Screenshot of a video showing support ship Shahid Baziar, left, from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy unlawfully towing a  small Saildrone Explorer unmanned surface vessel (USV) in international waters of the Arabian Gulf as U.S. Navy patrol coastal ship USS Thunderbolt approaches in response, August 30, 2022.  (U.S. Navy photo) Note: Sensitive data on the video are blacked out.

The Iranian vessel disconnecting the towing line, releasing the seagoing drone, and departed the area approximately four hours later, without further incident.

“IRGCN’s actions were flagrant, unwarranted and inconsistent with the behavior of a professional maritime force,” said Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet and Combined Maritime Forces. “U.S. naval forces remain vigilant and will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows while promoting rules-based international order throughout the region.”

Nournews, an Iranian media outlet close to the country’s Supreme National Security Council, reported that the IRGC Navy “impounded” the U.S. vessel to secure safe shipping lanes and decided on its own to release it after briefing the American patrol ship about security and safe navigation, according to the Wall Street Journal, which noted more violent confrontations have recently occurred in recent weeks between U.S. forces and Iranian-backed militias. On August 15, an Iranian-backed militia in central Iraq attacked the U.S. base at al-Tanf, Syria, with two drones that were supplied by Tehran, U.S. officials say. No U.S. soldiers were hurt.

The Saildrone Explorer USV is equipped with sensors, radars and cameras for navigation and data collection. However, this technology is available commercially and does not store sensitive or classified information, the U.S. Navy said.

(U.S. Army photo by Corporal DeAndre Dawkins) Click photo to enlarge image.

Naval Forces Central Command launched the Saildrone Explorer in the Persian Gulf on January 27, following a month-long test period in the Gulf of Aqaba,. The USV is part of Task Force 59, headquartered in Bahrain, which stood up nearly a year ago to test unmanned and contractor-owned vessels in the Middle East. The goal of the task force is to have 100 unmanned platforms, belonging to the U.S. and allies, operating together by the end of 2023, USNI News reported.

Meanwhile, Austal USA and Saildrone Inc. have announced a strategic partnership to build cutting-edge, autonomous uncrewed (unmanned) surface vehicles. See story below in INDUSTRY section.

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Britain Supplying Micro Drones to Ukraine.

Target-spotting micro-drones, will be included in the next weapons package Britain will supply Unkraine, departing UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced during a surprise visit to Kyiv.

Black Hornet micro drone. (U.S. Army photo)

 

The British announcement was light on details, except for saying 850 hand-launched Black Hornet micro-drones, primarily used in urban warfare, are included in the package, Defense News reported August 24. . The micro-drones, made in Norway by American firm Teledyne FLIR, were originally developed by Norwegian company Prox Dynamics, now part of the U.S.-based sensor specialist. The company advertises the drone, which resembles a thin helicopter that can fit in the palm of a hand, for its stealthy operations as it scouts for nearby threats.

Johnson made the announcement on his third visit to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began Feb. 24. Johnson, who was forced from office in July, is effectively a caretaker prime minister while the ruling Conservative Party prepares to elect a new leader in early September.

London’s latest commitment brings the amount given in military and financial aid to more than £2.3 billion since the war began in February.

The Norwegian Defence Ministry, which partnered with Britain on the Black Hornet deal, said Oslo contributed upward of $9 million to the transaction. According to a ministry statement, Norway’s contributions to the British-led fund in support of Ukraine total roughly $41 million.

 

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INDUSTRY.

Saildrone Partners with Austal USA

Alabama-based shipbuilder Austal USA and Saildrone Inc. announced they are forming a strategic partnership to build cutting-edge, autonomous uncrewed surface vehicles.

The new partnership combines Saildrone’s uncrewed surface vehicle technology with Austal USA’s advanced manufacturing capabilities. The partnership provides the U.S. Navy and other government customers a cutting-edge solution for maritime domain awareness, hydrographic survey, and other missions requiring persistent wide area coverage, the partners said in an August 30 statement.

The partnership ensures that production of the Saildrone Surveyor will accelerate to meet the rapidly growing demand for the ground-breaking technology. The Surveyor was developed and designed by Saildrone and will be manufactured exclusively by Austal USA in Mobile, Alabama.

The Saildrone Surveyor, at 65 feet (20 meters) in length, is designed specifically for deep ocean mapping and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance applications, both above and below the surface. As with all Saildrone vehicles, the Surveyor is autonomous and uncrewed, offering extreme endurance, reliability and cost-effective operations. With its industry-leading expertise in aluminum shipbuilding, Austal USA is uniquely equipped to fabricate the Surveyor’s aluminum hulls and ensure rapid delivery to the fleet.

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Airbus Zephyr Tests Halted

Testing of Airbus’ long endurance Zephyr drone have been halted suddenly and further flight demonstrations of the solar-powered, uncrewed aircraft have been postponed until 2023, Defense News reports.

Flight tests unexpectedly concluded after completing a record 64 days aloft following an incident at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, according to U.S. Army Futures Command.

“Our team is working hard to gather and analyze important data following the unexpected termination of this flight,” Michael Monteleone, the director of the command’s Assured Positioning, Navigation and Timing/Space Cross-Functional Team, said in a statement.

The team launched the aircraft June 15 and it remained flying until August 18 when it “encountered events that led to its unexpected termination,” according to the command. With a wingspan of just over 82 feet and weiging less than 166 pounds, the Zephyr drone shattered its own longevity record for time spent aloft as an uncrewed aircraft system in the process.  No injuries or risk to personnel or other aircraft resulted from the incident.

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Aerovironment Acquires Planck Aerosystems

AeroVironment announced August 13 it has acquired Planck Aerosystems, a small company that develops and supplies technology enabling autonomous operations by aircraft, ground and marine vehicles and vessels.

The transaction “significantly accelerates AeroVironment’s development of advanced autonomy capabilities for the company’s unmanned aircraft systems,” the Virginia-headquartred small and medium-sized drone maker said in a statement.

Planck is a small technology company based in San Diego, California and will be acquired by AeroVironment’s Petaluma-based medium unmanned aircraft systems (MUAS) business segment to focus on integrating its flight autonomy solutions, such as ACE™ (Autonomous Control Engine), into AeroVironment’s offerings to enable safe, autonomous takeoff and landing from moving platforms on land or at sea in GPS-denied environments.

Founded in 2014, Planck has worked closely with customers from the U.S. Department of Defense, security agencies, allied governments and offshore industrials to develop customer-centric unmanned aircraft solutions. Planck’s products include embedded technologies and fully integrated unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and leverage their deep technical expertise in UAS guidance and navigation, autonomy and artificial intelligence.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

August 31, 2022 at 11:38 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (June 24, 2022)

21st CENTURY GUNSLINGER.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal David Intriago) Click on photo to enlarge image.

Corporal Monica Pomales, a crew chief with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 773’s Detachment A, conducts live fire shooting drills in a UH-1Y Venom utility helicopter during exercise Gunslinger 22 at Smoky Hill Range, Kansas on June 17, 2022.

Gunslinger 22 is a joint Marine Corps exercise with the Kansas Air National Guard designed to increase aircraft control and training for potential real world contingencies. Pomales’ Venom was accompanied by an AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter and both provided close air support and deep air support to the Ground Combat Element at Smoky Hill Range.

HMLA 773 Detachment A, based in New Orleans, is part of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, located at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey — a 2009 amalgamation of three military facilities in the Garden State: McGuire Air Force Base, the Army’s Fort Dix and Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, once the home of the Navy’s rigid airships and non-rigid blimps.

To see more photos of this helicopter live fire drill, click here.

June 24, 2022 at 8:25 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO: Christmas Edition (December 24, 2021)

SEASONS GREETINGS! 

For the Christmas version of the FRIDAY FOTO, we thought we show a range of holiday activities among the troops around the world. Please click on each photo to enlarge the image — and have a happy, safe holiday whichever way you celebrate the season!

The Santa Cause

For one thing, Santa Claus — or one of his lookalike helpers — seems to show up in some of the strangest places this time of year, like the wing of a fighter jet.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob Wood)

Santa waves to onlookers during the 48th Fighter Wing Children’s Holiday Party at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, on December 11, 2021. Santa made his grand entrance in an F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 494th Fighter Squadron. 

 

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Antonino Mazzamuto)

A UH-1Y Huey assigned to Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 167 (HMLA-167) transports Santa Claus to Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina, for a squadron party on December 16, 2021.

 

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brandon Roberson)

Attired in a Santa suit, Lieutenant Commander Rob Nelson, assigned to the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), launches a T-45C Goshawk aircraft assigned to Training Air Wing (TW) 1, on December 18, 2021.

The Chief of Naval Air Training is conducting a carrier qualification detachment aboard the carrier. It’s the first opportunity for student naval aviators from Training Air Wings 1 and 2 to launch from and land on an aircraft carrier at sea.

 

Sedate Santas

(U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brianna K. Green)

Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and Jingle the Elf appear with the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa Brass Quintet Band during a holiday-themed community relations event in Naples, Italy on December 17, 2021.

 

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Kelsey Dornfeld)

U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Joshua Purrington of the 4th Law Enforcement Battalion talks with a child who just got her present at a Toys for Tots event in McGrath, Alaska, on December 3, 2021.  Marines and Airmen traveled to remote villages of Alaska’s Kuskokwim Valley to support the Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots program.

 

Speaking of Gift Giving

Soldiers from the U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys Religious Support Office check their lists twice as they load gifts for military and South Korean children into a delivery vehicle for Operation Happy Holidays on December 20, 2021.

(Photo courtesy of Chaplain (Maj.) Christian Bang) (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)

 

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Samwel Tabancay)

Lieutenant General David G. Bellon, commander of Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces South, joins a Toys for Tots distribution in New Orleans on December 18, 2021. MARFORRES Marines and Sailors assisted in the distribution of toys to approximately 2,000 families as a part of the annual Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.

Making Merry

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Miranda Mahoney)

Air Commandos gather around the tree during the annual tree lighting ceremony at Hurlburt Field, a U.S. Air Force facility in Florida on December 3, 2021. The ceremony was virtual in 2020, but due to declining COVID-19 numbers, the event was held in-person again this year.

December 24, 2021 at 1:49 pm 2 comments

FRIDAY FOTO (On Saturday, December 11, 2021)

Impressionistic View.

(U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lieutenant Katie Tamesis)

Some of the best photos are taken out the back of a military helicopter.

Whatever the Air Force photographer did with her field of focus, it made the view of Fall foliage in Georgia look like the work of a French impressionist.

What we actually have here is a Marine Corps CH-53 “Sea Stallion” helicopter crew member overlooking the Bemiss Drop Zone at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia on November 16, 2021.

Airmen along with Georgia Army National Guard soldiers and Marine Corps helicopter crew members conducted airborne operations training to exchange tactics, techniques and procedures from across three branches of the military and to strengthen joint agile combat employment mission capabilities.

December 11, 2021 at 11:59 pm 1 comment

FRIDAY FOTO (December 3, 2021)

Footloose.

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sergeant Michael Eaddy)

First reaction to this photo: Wait, what?

Second reaction: What IS that? A holiday clothing drive gone wrong?

Third reaction: Oh, like Soylent Green it’s … People! (Click on photo to enlarge image)

By our count, there are 12 separate feet in the photo, so six Soldiers bunched together?

The caption the Defense Department sent with this photo reads simply: “Soldiers conduct special patrol intersection extraction system training at Fort Campbell, Tenn., Nov. 14, 2021.” It doesn’t explain why these soldiers are tangled together like a bunch of eels.

Apparently, the angle of this photo creates an optical illusion, because the photo below shows what special patrol intersection extraction system (SPIES) training looks like from a distance.

This photo shows Soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) perform Special Patrol Insertion/Extraction System (SPIES) training during Operation Lethal Eagle — the first division sized field training exercise for the 101st in over 20 years — on November 7, 2021 at Fort Knox, Kentucky.

Oh, before anyone complains that the first photo was taken at Fort Campbell, KENTUCKY — not Tennessee — it should be noted the huge (164-square miles) fort straddles the border between the Bluegrass State and the Volunteer State.

December 3, 2021 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

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