Posts tagged ‘Photos’

FRIDAY FOTO (August 14, 2020)

Time to top off the tank.

Exercise "Enduring Lightning II" strikes again

 (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sergeant Patrick OReilly)

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lighting II strike fighters approach a U.S. Air Force KC-10 Extender, an aerial refueling tanker, on August 2, 2020 during exercise Enduring Lightning II over southern Israel.

This is the view from the tanker: U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II and Israeli Air Force F-35I Lightning II aircraft, which means “Mighty One” in Hebrew.

Australia, Italy, Japan, Norway and the United Kingdom are  among the other militaries that fly the F-35, orginally known as the Joint Strike Fighter.

August 14, 2020 at 2:59 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (May 15, 2020)

Things Are Different Today.


(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Shane T. Beaubien)

Marines with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division prepare a M252 81mm Medium Weight Mortar at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California on April 17.

The Marines and everybody else  in the services is under orders now, if you can’t maintain a social distance of six feet in the Era of COVID-19 — wear proper face protection.

Marines maintain readiness amid pandemic

(Marine Corps photo by Corporal Kameron Herndon

Different everywhere.

Marine Corps Lance Corporal Faith Rose sights in on a target during training at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan on May 6, 2020 — with face mask.

So those of you out there who think it’s inconvenient, stupid or not cool to wear a protective mask: Tell it to the Marines.


May 15, 2020 at 9:06 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (May 8, 2020)

Urgent Night Work.

386th Air Expeditionary Wing Conducts RADR Exercise

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kevin Tanenbaum)

Even in an era of cyber warfare, stealthy aircraft and robots, droids and drones, sometimes the key person in a crisis works with a shovel.

Senior Airman Zaldy Edjan is a water fuel systems maintenance technician with the  386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron.  This strikingly stark photo, taken May 1, shows him shoveling dirt and debris kicked up by a wheel saw used to cut a concrete runway. Edjan was participating in rapid airfield damage recovery, or RADR, training at Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait.

RADR training teaches Airmen how to rebuild a damaged runway after an attack in a short amount of time to get planes back in the air.

May 8, 2020 at 7:21 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (March 13, 2020)

Destination Deadhorse.

CH-47 Chinooks go to Deadhorse for Arctic Eagle

(Air Force photo by Technical Sergeant Amy Picard)

Soldiers assigned to the Alaska National Guard travel aboard a CH-47 Chinook heavy lift helicopter from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to Deadhorse, Alaska on February 24, 2020.

They were participating in Arctic Eagle, a homeland security and emergency response exercise operating throughout the state of Alaska. The exercise is an exercise designed to increase the National Guard’s ability to operate in extreme cold-weather conditions.

The high that day was minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit. The low was 23 degrees below zero.

March 13, 2020 at 6:45 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (March 6, 2020)

Army Astronaut.

COL Andrew Morgan spacewalk

(Photo by Luca Parmitano, European Space Agency)

This photo shows Army Colonel Andrew Morgan, a NASA astronaut, pausing for a photo outside the International Space Station before going back to work at the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer site on January 25, 2020.

Until a few years ago, your 4GWAR editor usually did not think “Army” when someone mentioned  “Astronaut.”

But Morgan is one of three soldiers currently in NASA’s astronaut program. He and fellow astronaut, Lieutenant Colonel Anne McClain, were featured in a  November 30, 2018 FRIDAY FOTO. The third current Army astronaut is Lieutenant Colonel Frank Rubio. All three are West Point graduates. Rubio and Morgan are both physicians and Rubio and McClain are former combat helicopter pilots. Morgan, a former demonstration parachutist, served as a physician with Army Special Forces.

Right Stuff indeed.

Most of the early astronauts were Air Force or Navy pilots. John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, was a Marine. Deke Slayton, one of the first seven astronauts in Project Mercury, started out in the Army Air Forces during World War II.  But he was serving in the Air Force when selected to be part of the first class of astronauts. Unfortunately, he was grounded because of an erratic heart beat and did not make it into space until the 1970s with the Apollo  program.

In 1976, Brigadier General, then-Major Robert L. Stewart became the Army’s first astronaut. Another combat helicopter pilot (Vietnam), he flew on two Space Shuttle missions and was preparing for his third when he was promoted to general and left NASA to become deputy commander of Army Strategic Defense Command.


March 6, 2020 at 11:32 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (February 21, 2020)

Warrior’s Face.

Iwo Jima veterans mark 75 years since legendary battle at final tribute ceremony at Camp Pendleton

(Marine Corps photo by Staff Sergeant Royce Dorman)

This distinguished old gentleman is retired Marine Corps Master Gunnery Sergeant Len Maffioli, an Iwo Jima veteran. This photo was taken before the start of the 75th commemoration of the Battle of Iwo Jima in a sunset ceremony at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California, Feb. 15, 2020.

The sergeant wasn’t just a participant, he was the master of ceremonies. But wait, there’s more. Not only is he a veteran of one of the most horrendous battles of the Pacific in World War Two — nearly 7,000 Marines and sailors were killed, as were some 19,000 Japanese defenders between February 19 and March 26, 1945 — Master Gunnery Sergeant Maffioli is a veteran of three wars.

If you look at the medals of his left breast, you see a Bronze Star medal with a “V” for valor pin. Next to it is the Purple Heart medal for wounds suffered in battle. Down below is a United Nations Korean Service medal. There’s also a Vietnam Service medal and a  on the left, the medal with the long vertical black stripe, that’s for a Prisoner of War (POW).

During his thirty-three years in the U.S. Marine Corps, Master Gunnery Sergeant Len Maffioli saw combat in World War II, the Korean War and the war in Vietnam, according to the website, Together We Served.

He was also one of 18 Marines who participated in the only successful organized escape from a Chinese Communist POW camp during the Korean War. In his book, “Grown Gray in War,” he offers an eyewitness account of his three wars and how war fighting changes after each war. He was a remarkable man. — Gunnery Sergeant John D. Foster.

We’d say the sergeant still is a remarkable man, and he’s earned every one of those wrinkles.


The west side of the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington County, Virginia. (photo by FaMartin via wikipedia)

February 21, 2020 at 11:42 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (February 14, 2020)

Iron Fist Irony.

CRRC Operations Aboard USS Pearl Harbor

(U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Natalie Byers)

U.S. sailors pull a combat rubber raiding craft carrying Japanese soldiers aboard the amphibious dock landing ship, USS Pearl Harbor, in the Pacific Ocean on February 6, 2020.

The photo was taken during Iron Fist, an exercise designed to enhance the ability of U.S. and Japanese forces to plan and conduct combined amphibious operations.

Several U.S. Navy amphibious ships, like the Pearl Harbor, are named for a famous Navy and Marine Corps battles — like  Tripoli or Fort McHenry — but there are others named for World War II engagements in the Pacific: Bataan, Iwo Jima and Bougainville. Your 4GWAR editor has often wondered if these reminders of bitter defeats and costly victories more than 70 years ago cause any uncomfortable moments of reflection when the forces of the United States and Japan — now close allies — engage in joint exercises and operations.

Do the soldiers and sailors in the photo above feel any sense of irony that they are all on board a ship, the Pearl Harbor, named for the 1941 Japanese air attack on the eponymous naval base that shattered the U.S. Pacific Fleet and eventually led to the destruction of the Imperial Japanese Navy?

Probably not. And maybe that’s a good thing.

February 14, 2020 at 12:37 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (January 31, 2020)

Above Mount Fuji.

Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102 Flight Operations

( U.S. Navy photo by Lieutenant Alex Grammar )

Sometimes, when the world seems to be going to hell, you just want to see a pretty picture. Well, this is 4GWAR’s effort to distract you from the daily woe with an astonishing view of nature’s beauty — with a dash of human accomplishment, supersonic manned flight.

A Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet soars above the clouds and Mount Fuji while conducting flight operations near Atsugi, Japan on January 29, 2020.

This jet fighter is assigned to the “Diamondbacks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102.  VFA-102 is attached to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, which is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet’s enormous area of operations in the Indo-Pacific region.

February 1, 2020 at 12:43 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (January 24, 2020)

Wet Work.

Hotel Company Crucible

(Marine Corps photo by Lance Corporal Christopher McMurry)

Marine Corps recruits participate in a Crucible event at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, on January 10, 2020. The Crucible is a 54-hour field training exercise that presents continuous physical and mental challenges. After successfully completing The Crucible, recruits are welcomed as members of the Corps and awarded the Marines’ eagle, globe and anchor emblem.

Luckily, as wet and uncomfortable as these recruits look, at least it wasn’t typical January weather that day. The high on January 10, 2020 at Parris Island was an unseasonable 72 degrees, with a low of 54. The average historical high temperature for January 10 in those parts is 60 degrees, with a much colder low of 39 degrees, according to AccuWeather. Maybe hot and wet in January is worse?

To see a short video clip of the Crucible, click here.

January 24, 2020 at 12:10 am Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (January 17, 2020)

Fighting Fire with …

JBER fire protection specialists certify as ice rescue technicians

(U.S. Air Force photo by Alejandro Pena)

U.S. Air Force fire protection specialists navigate in freezing water while practicing self-recovery techniques during ice rescue training at Six Mile Lake at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, January 11, 2020.

The training, conducted in below zero temperatures, provides the knowledge and skills necessary for safe rescue and recovery operations in, on and around ice and cold water.

You gotta wonder if these folks ever dreamed they’d be doing this — as firefighters, no less  — when the joined the Air Force.

January 17, 2020 at 9:02 pm Leave a comment

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