Tag Archives: Hornet Ball

Here’s 2017 West Coast Strike Fighter Ball Video: No ATFLIR and No Gun Camera Footage. And It’s Probably Not By Accident.

This year’s West Coast Strike Fighter Ball Video does not feature the “real ops” stuff: bombs, ATFLIR footage, and aerial “gun camera” clips. It seems that someone was not happy when a recent cruise video included footage of a Syrian Su-22 being shot down by a Hornet….

“Hornet Ball” and “Rhino Ball” are the names of a famous yearly compilation of videos produced by LT Joseph “C-Rock” Stephens, an Instructor WSO with the VFA-122 Flying Eagles.

The “Ball” series is made of clips from squadrons based on the West Coast (as well as the 4 forward deployed squadrons in Japan) during their daily activities at home or deployed in support of real operations, such as Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Here you have the links to the previous editions: Rhino Ball 2016; Hornet Ball 2015; Hornet Ball 2014; Hornet Ball 2013.

This year’s edition has been dubbed “Strike Fighter Ball” as NAS Lemoore, along with the “legacy” F/A-18A-D Hornets and F/A-18E/F Super Hornets,  has started operating the F-35C Lightning II “Joint Strike Fighter” with the VFA-125 Rough Riders since Jan. 25, 2017.

Whilst the 2017 video remains extremely cool (and funny, considered the arcade game theme) with cats/traps, air-to-air merges, low levels, fly-bys, aerial refueling etc., it appears to be a bit watered-down: whereas previous years videos featured plenty of bomb, ATFLIR (Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infra Red) pod, HUD (Head Up Display) and Gun Camera footage, this year’s compilation has just some AIM-9X Sidewinder and AGM-88 HARM (High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile) shots.

Indeed, according to multiple sources, the U.S. Navy was not too happy when the VFA-31 Tomcatters release their 2017 OIR cruise video that included footage of the aerial engagement between an F/A-18E Super Hornet belonging to the VFA-87 “Golden Warriors” and a Syrian Su-22 (that ended with the Fitter being shot down by an AIM-120 AMRAAM missile near Raqqa, Syria), filmed with an ATFLIR pod.

In order to prevent some sensitive footage from leaking to the public, the Navy has probably decided to put the kibosh on all footage taken on theater…

Anyway, enjoy!

Rhino Ball 2016 is the best compilation of Hornet videos from last year

Amazing footage shows U.S. Hornets at work everywhere, from every point of view. Enjoy!!

You probably know Hornet Ball, the compilation of cool videos produced by LT Joseph “C-Rock” Stephens, an Instructor WSO with the VFA-122 Flying Eagles, and made of clips from most of the squadrons based at NAS Lemoore as well as the 4 forward deployed squadrons in Japan.

Well, this year’s edition has been dubbed “Rhino Ball.”

“The 2016 Rhino Ball video is finally here! From November 1999 through 2015 NAS Lemoore has hosted a mixture of legacy F/A-18A-D Hornets and F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, otherwise known as “Rhinos.” Beginning in 2017, the new F-35 Lightning II will also join the presence in central California.

That makes 2016 our Year of the Rhino. Goodbye Hornet Ball and warm feelings to future Strike Fighter Balls, but this year…this year we have the one and only Rhino Ball, with the only official Rhino Ball Video ever made,” says “C-Rock” in the YT video comment.

rhino-ball-2016

Through the eye of HD GoPro cameras, the awesome 17-min video brings you aboard West coast F/A-18C Legacy Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet during flight deck operations, trap landings in  very bad weather or at night, live firing of AIM-9 and AIM-7 air-to-air missiles, JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions), low-level flying in the mountains and through the famous Jedi Transition, ATFLIR  (Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared) pod clips taken while flying missions in support of Operation Inherent Resolve against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

Here are Hornet Ball 2015, Hornet Ball 2014 and Hornet Ball 2013.

 

Hornet Ball 2015 is the most exciting Naval Aviation video you’ll see this year

Stunning footage from U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet strike-fighter aviation community.

This year’s West Coast Hornet Ball video is simply amazing.

Produced by LT Joseph “C-Rock” Stephens, an Instructor WSO with the VFA-122 Flying Eagles, Hornet Ball 2015 features clips from most of the squadrons based at NAS Lemoore as well as the 4 forward deployed squadrons in Japan: VFA-102, VFA-27, VFA-115, and VFA-195.

Hornet Ball 2015 cockpit top

The absolutely exciting 13-min video will bring you aboard West coast F/A-18C Legacy Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet during blue water ops, trap landings in sandstorm, bad weather or at night, mock air-to-air combat against supermaneuverable Royal Malaysian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30s, live firing of AIM-9 air-to-air missiles, LGBs (Laser Guided Bombs), low-level flying in the mountains and through the famous Jedi Transition, ATFLIR  (Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared) pod clips, and also while guiding a Tomahawk Land Attack Missile (TLAM) against a moving target at sea.

Hornet Ball 2015 cockpit

Here are Hornet Ball 2014 and Hornet Ball 2013.

H/T to “C-Rock” for sending the video our way!

Hornet Ball 2014: the best naval aviation video of the year

Once again, Hornet Ball is the best naval aviation video of the year.

The Hornet Ball (Strike Fighter Ball Pacific) is an annual event consisting of all the West coast Naval F/A-18C Legacy Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet squadrons, their pilots and guests.

Each year the event features a video, produced by “Wingnut”, a Hornet pilot himself, compiled from all the squadrons’ last year of flying in both combat and training missions: catapult launches, trap landings, aerobatics, dogfighting against Su-30s and Mig-29s, live firing of air-to-air missiles, HARM anti-radion missiles, LGBs (Laser Guided Bombs), cluster bombs, low level flying in the desert, ATFLIR  (Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared) pod clips, and much more.

Here’s the Hornet Ball 2013.

H/T Tom Demerly and Al Clark for the heads-up