Tag Archives: U.S. Navy

Photo: Flames explode behind the Blue Angels’ F/A-18 Hornets at Miramar Air Show 2012

Flames seem to surround the U.S. Navy Blue Angels demo team’s F/A-18 Hornet jets during the night portion of the MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station) Miramar air show 2012, on Oct. 13.

The Saturday “twilight” show, a fireworks display and the final “Great Wall of Fire” pyrotechnic display are common features of the annual Miramar air show.

Miramar is famous all around the world for being the base of the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapon School, whose training program inspired Top Gun.

The NFWS, has moved to NAS Fallon, Nevada, in 1996.

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps

Unusual formation: U.S. Navy F-18Es and Royal Malaysian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30s. Overflying USS George Washington

Taken in the South China Sea on Oct. 15, the following picture shows a quite unusual formation: two F/A-18Es from VFA-27 “Royal Maces” fly in formation with two Sukhoi Su-30s from the Royal Malaysian Air Force over USS George Washington.

The forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) its embarked air wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 “provide a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific region.”

 

Image credit: U.S. Navy

Replenishment At Sea: even Nuclear-powered Aircraft Carriers need fuel and supplies

The following picture shows Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) as it steams aside the Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS Pecos (T-AO 197) during a replenishment at sea.

Three SH-60 helicopters appear to be flying around the ships carrying supplies delivered on the aircraft carrier’s flight deck by means of a vertical replenishment (VERTREP) operation.

Although they are nuclear powered (hence they do not need “energy supplies” for some 20 years), aircraft carriers have to take on fuel and supplies (including food, mail, etc.) during the RAS (Replenishment At Sea) to “feed” the embarked planes and personnel.

Image credit: U.S. Navy

Photo: Air Force Joint Terminal Attack Controller marks ground target for a Navy Hornet under starry sky. In Kuwait.

Taken on Sept. 11, 2012, the following picture shows U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Drew Parks, a Joint Terminal Attack Controller, 82nd Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron, as he communicates with a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet supporting Operation Spartan Shield Southwest Asia.

Although the exact location is “undisclosed”, Spartan Shield is the name of the U.S. operation in Kuwait, hence the image was taken during an exercise in the desert over there.

Role of the JTACs, previously known as FACs (Forward Air Controllers), is to provide precision terminal attack guidance of U.S. and coalition close air support platforms from a forward position.

The JTAC acts as a sort of “broker” between the commander of the troops on the ground and the pilot, working embedded on a patrol, in the vicinity of the enemy, in an armored vehicle, or from the Tactical Operations Center of a Forward Operating Base. Through the  ROVER (Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver) system made available by the Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) pod that the F-18s carry on the left side of the fuselage, the JTAC receives on a portable terminal similar to a Playstation, realtime footage he then uses to determine whether the pilot is cueing the weapons to the correct ground target (and avoid friendly fire or collateral damage).

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

“If you don’t come to democracy, democracy will come to you”: this is what this awesome aircraft carrier photo says

If you don’t come to democracy, democracy will come to you”.

This is the kind of message that the picture below, released by the U.S. Navy on Sept. 10, 2012, seems to cast.

The impressive photo shows aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) underway near Guam at sunset. George Washington is the centerpiece of Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 based out of Yokosuka, Japan, and is currently on patrol in the western Pacific.

Image credit: U.S. Navy

Aicraft carriers are among the most powerful tools in the hands of Washington.

They carry a Carrier Air Wing consisting of about 60 aircraft. For instance, when I visited the USS Nimitz involved in Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009, the CVW-11 was made by  20 F/A-18Cs, 12 F/A-18Es, 12 F/A-18Fs, 4 E/A-6Bs, 4 E-2Cs, 4 SH-60Fs and 3 HH-60Fs, a “mix” that, with minor differences, can be found on any other supercarrier; a force that can conduct autonomous combat sorties of all types against heavily defended targets.