Posts tagged ‘U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds’

FRIDAY FOTO (September 17, 2021)

Happy Birthday U.S. Air Force

(U.S. Air Force Photo by Technical Sergeant Nicolas A. Myers)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon jet fighter — part of the  U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron the “Thunderbirds” — approaches the viewing area during the third and final day of the Cleveland National Air Show, on September 6, 2021 in Ohio.

Tomorrow, September 18, 2021 is the 74th birthday of the United States Air Force. The Department of the Air Force was created when President Harry S Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947. The first Secretary of the Air Force was sworn into office on September 18.

Between 1909 — when that the US military purchased its first aircraft — and 1947, the U.S. Air Force did not exist as a separate and independent military service organization, according to the Military.com website. The service went through a series of designations: Aeronautical Section, Army Signal Corps (1909); Aviation Section, Signal Corps (1914); United States Army Air Service (1918); United States Army Air Corps (1926), and United States Army Air Forces (1941).

After World War II, military and civilian leaders were convinced airpower was now a major element of the nation’s defense and deterrence, leading to the creation of a separate Air Force in the National Security Act of 1947.

September 17, 2021 at 2:11 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (May 1, 2020)

On a Clear Day …

USAF Thunderbirds & USN Blue Angels Perform America Strong Flyover

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Cory W. Bush)

The U.S. Air Force and Navy flight demonstration squadrons, the Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels, fly over New York City as part of “America Strong,” a joint effort from the Navy and the Air Force to salute health care workers, first responders, service members and other essential personnel on the front-line in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The contrails of the Thunderbirds‘ F-16 Fighting Falcon jets are on the lower right side of the photo as the Air Force team heads up the East River toward the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

The Blue Angels and their F-18 Hornet aircraft are visible on the upper left side of the photo, heading up the Hudson River above the west side of Manhattan Island. Off to the left, lies New Jersey, which has also been hit very hard by the coronavirus.

Some critics have said the money it costs to fly these very expensive aircraft could be better spent ON those front-line health warriors — paying for more masks, gloves and other personal protection equipment. But apparently, at least some were thrilled at the sight (see photo below).

Your 4GWAR editor sees merit in both sides of the issue, but we also like seeing a bird’s eye view of our hometown on an incredibly clear day, April 28.

Blue Angels and Thunderbirds joint flyover, New Jersey

(U.S. Army National Guard photo by Specialist Michael Schwenk)

New Jersey National Guardsmen and medical personnel wave and snap photos as the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds fly over University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey on  April 28, 2020.

May 1, 2020 at 10:18 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (April 24, 2020)

The New Normal.

 

U.S. Air Force Academy Graduation Class of 2020

(U.S. Air Force photo by Trang Le)

U.S. Air Force Academy cadets wearing face masks listen to opening remarks during the academy’s Class of 2020 graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado on April 18, 2020.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s Air Force Academy graduation proceedings were markedly different from previous years: No cheering friends and relatives packed into a football stadium. In fact, almost no one was allowed on campus except the graduates, speakers and some other Air Force and Defense Department dignitaries. The whole event was live-streamed  for friends and family members.

“This is a community we would normally welcome to Falcon Stadium but under the current circumstances we are honored to have your support from wherever you may be tuning in,” Academy Superintendent Lieutenant General Jay Silveria said in his opening remarks at the ceremony, held this year on the landmark massive quadrangle known as The Terrazzo.

There weren’t the usual hugs, handshakes and chest bumps cadets among the cadets  after receiving their diplomas. Each cadet marched or sat at least six feet away from their peers before, during and after the ceremony.

FRIFO 4-24-2020 Part2 2019 AFAcadmy grads

Class of 2019 graduates toss their hats skyward as the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds roar overhead during the graduation ceremony at a packed Falcon Stadium on May 30, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by /Trevor Cokley)

However, the 2020 commencement ceremonies weren’t completely spartan.  Vice President Mike Pence gave the commencement address. The Air Force demonstration flying team, the Thunderbirds, made their traditional flyover, and 967 new officers closed-out their four years at the academy by hurling their hats in the air.

FRIFO 4-24-2020 Part3 2020 AFAcdmy grads hats

Amid the fellow cadets’ tossed hats, a class of 2020 graduate watched the Thunderbirds fly over the April 18, 2020 Air Force Academy graduation ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. J.T. Armstrong)

 

April 24, 2020 at 1:50 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (August 23, 2019)

Fire Wall.

2019 Sioux Falls Airshow

(U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sergeant Duane Duimstra)

Don’t be alarmed, it’s supposed to look like this.

Exploding fireballs are part of the script during the Sioux Falls Air Show in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on August 18, 2019. In the foreground, a pair of F-16s from the Air Force’s flight demonstration team, the Thunderbirds, stand parked on the tarmac. Closer to the action is an iconic Army UH-1 “Huey” helicopter participating in a Vietnam combat search and rescue of a downed pilot re-enactment.

August 23, 2019 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

SHAKO: Women’s History Month 2019, Part I

Women in the Air Force.

Today and for the next three Sundays in March, 4GWAR will feature photo essays illustrating the contributions of women in the four armed services. For the most part the pictures do not recall historic firsts or heroines of the past. Instead, they focus on women doing their jobs — some difficult or dangerous — but all essential to keeping the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps ready to defend the United States of America. This week we look at the Air Force.

Displaying the Colors

(Photo by Army Specialist Dana Clarke)

There’s more to the U.S. Air Force than airplanes, helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft. It’s also people, missions and traditions. Here’s one example: an airman first class, participating in a multi-service honor guard, carries the Air Force flag during a Presidents’ Day wreath-laying ceremony at Mount Vernon in Virginia on February 19, 2019.

WOMEN AIR FORCE ID

(Air Force photo by Technical Sergeant Darnell T. Cannady)

The missions can be big or small. Most Air Force vehicles — whether they fly in the sky or travel on the ground — need wheels to get around when they are earthbound. Here see Airman 1st Class Sarah Derringer (left) and Airman 1st Class Mia Duran work on a vehicle wheel at Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates on February 11, 2019.

56th Fighter Wing Quarterly Load Crew Competition

(Air Force photo by Senior Airman Caleb Worpel)

Airman Amanda Knutson prepares an inert bomb for loading onto an F-35A Lightning II the newest, Fifth Generation multi-role jet fighter at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona on January 10, 2019.

Airmen de-arm F-16 during base readiness exercise

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Valerie Seelye)

The original Air Force caption for this photo was all about the pilot, his squadron, the 52nd Fighter Wing and their base at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany during a base-wide readiness exercise in  September 2018. But as one can see in this photo, the ground crew that keeps this F-16 Fighting Falcon flying is made up of female airmen.

WOMEN AIR FORCE ID4

(Air Force photo by Major Ray Geoffroy)

Now here’s another F-16 pilot, Captain Michelle “Mace” Curran, a member of the Thunderbirds, the Air Force flight demonstration team. Only the fourth female pilot in the aerobatic team’s history, she’s seen here preparing for the final training sorties of 2018 at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Staff Sergeant Bernadette Kroondyk, whose name appears just below the cockpit, is an avionics systems technician whose duties include inspecting, removing, installing and checking out aviation electronic systems on the Thunderbirds’ F-16s.

Enduring Promise

(U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sergeant Gregory Brook)

Captain Susan Jennie is a pilot on  much bigger plane, the C-17 Globemaster III.  She was part of a team that delivered humanitarian aid, intended for economically wracked Venezuela to South America. Three C-17s flew from Homestead Air Reserve Base in Florida, to Cucuta, Colombia in February. Tons of aid was airlifted to the Colombian town on the Venezuelan border as part of an effort to help the Venezuelan people during their humanitarian and political crisis.

386th ESFS demonstrates K-9 capability at MWD Expo

(U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sergeant Robert Cloys)

Air Force Staff Sergeant Samantha Gassner stands with Lloren, a patrol and explosive detector dog, during a military working dog expo at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, on December 27, 2018. Most of the U.S. military dogs used for security patrolling and drug and explosives detection are trained at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

MTIs Molding BMT Flights

(U.S. Air Force photo by Sarayuth Pinthong)

The photo above shows Air Force Staff Sergeant Brooke Held, 324th Training Squadron instructor, and her basic training flight practicing for a graduation parade ceremony at Joint Base San Antonio, December 12, 2018. The Air Force Military Training Instructor plays a role similar to drill instructors in the Army and Marine Corps. Like their male counterparts, female MTIs wear a distinctive wide-brimmed hat. Joint Base San Antonio includes the Army’s Fort Sam Houston and Lackland and Randolph Air Force bases. Lackland is also the basic training base for Air Force recruits.

Celebration of the life and legacy of Maj. Gen. Marcelite Harris

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Rusty Frank)

One trailblazer we’d like to mention in this post is Major General Marcelite J. Harris, who passed away last fall. At her retirement in 1997, General Harris was the highest ranking female officer in the Air Force and the highest-ranking African American woman in the entire Defense Department.

Her other accomplishments included being the first woman aircraft maintenance officer, one of the first two women air officers commanding at the U.S. Air Force Academy and the first woman deputy commander for maintenance. She also served as a White House aide during the Carter administration.

The photo above shows General Harris’ son, Lieutenant Colonel Steven Harris, kneeling at his mother’s gravesite after her funeral with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on February 7, 2019.

BDS strengthens airfield security capabilities

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Erick Requadt)

This last photo shows airmen preparing to exit an HC-130J Combat King II — a specialized transport aircraft — during airfield security training at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia on January 28, 2019. The  HC-130J is the Air Force’s only fixed-wing aircraft dedicated to recovering personnel in difficult circumstances and it’s flown by Air Combat Command. This C-130J variation specializes in avoiding detection in tactical operations and recovery operations in austere environments.

We will be posting similar looks at women in the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. Look for them on the next three Sundays in March, Women’s History Month.

*** *** ***

.west point cadets.pdfSHAKO 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.

 

March 14, 2019 at 8:46 pm Leave a comment

FRIDAY FOTO (July 21, 2017)

See Paris and … Fly!

FRIFO 7-21-2017 Thunderbirds Over Paris

(U.S. Air Force photo by Technical Sergeant Christopher Boitz)

The Thunderbirds, the U.S. Air Force air demonstration squadron, streaks by the Eiffel Tower on July 11, during a practice for the 2017 Bastille Day celebration in Paris. The Thunderbirds’ F-16s were among than 90 aircraft that participated in the July 14 festivities.

We usually pass on photos of the Thunderbirds. While they are some of the world’s best military aviators and their aerial derring do is breathtaking, they, like their Navy counterparts, the Blue Angels, are doing what they do to provide publicity for the Air Force and aid recruitment. Here at 4GWAR we prefer the FRIDAY FOTO to shed some light on the amazing feats performed by all the other service members that don’t routinely draw crowds and flocks of photographers.

But hey, it’s Paris!

Like Henry of Navarre put it: “Paris vaut bien une messe.”

July 21, 2017 at 12:42 am Leave a comment


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