These Are The Most Incredible Photos The Air Force Took In 2014

The past year was a busy time for the US Air Force.

Aside from coordinating and carrying out airstrikes against ISIS and other militant groups around the world, the branch also had to maintain its typically high level of readiness. The branch compiled a year in review, showcasing the US Air Force in action.

These are some of the most striking images the branch captured over the past year.

A soldier conducts a jump from a C-130 during the Japanese-American Friendship Festival at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

a soldier conducts a jump from a c 130 during the japanese american friendship festival at yokota air base japan

Photo: Senior Airman Michael Washburn/USAF

In September, soldiers also executed jumps out of a C-130 at the Combined Arms Training Center Camp Fuji, Japan.

soldier jump at camp fuji japan

Photo: Osakabe Yasuo/USAF


During 2014, the long-delayed F-35 next-generation fighter was moved to its new home at Luke Air Force Base, in Arizona. Here is one F-35 being escorted by an F-16.

f-35 escorted by f-16

Photo: Jim Hazeltine/USAF

The Air Force helped Marines load cargo during the closure of bases throughout Afghanistan during the past year, as the US-led combat mission in the country wrapped up.

Marines loading cargo

Photo: Staff Sgt. Jeremy Bocock/USAF

Drone operators were also constantly called upon throughout 2014. An MQ-1B Predator, left, and an MQ-9 Reaper taxi to the runway in preparation for takeoff at Creech Air Force Base, in Nevada.

MQ-9 reaper drone taxiing

Photo: Airman 1st Class Christian Clausen/USAF


In November, the Air Force carried out training operations alongside the Army and the Marines in Idaho.

helicopter taking off at training mission with army, marines, and air force.

Photo: Staff Sgt. Roy Lynch/USAF

Training took several forms throughout the year. Here, Air Force ROTC cadets observed the refueling of a B-2 over New Jersey as part of an orientation flight program.

b-2 spirit refueling

Photo: Master Sgt. Mark C. Osen/USAF

Here, a C-17 is guided into an aerial refueling mission during a training flight.

c-17 refueling

Photo: Staff Sgt. Alexander Martinez/USAF

Beyond airframes, personnel train in a variety of other combat-related skills. Here, Staff Sgt. Michael Sheehan fires a man-portable aircraft survivability trainer, or MAST, at Saylor Creek Range at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.

air force bazooka

Photo: Tech. Sgt. JT May III/USAF


Dedicated personnel within the Air Force train to be firefighters capable of responding to a range of emergencies at a moment’s notice. Here, an airman puts on his helmet as part of training in ventilation techniques.

air force fire fighter

Photo: Senior Airman Christopher Callaway/USAF

Members of the 334th Training Squadron combat controllers and the 335th Training Squadron special operations weather team ready themselves for a physical training session.

335th swim training

Photo: Kemberly Grouel/USAF

Here, Air Force service members take part in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, which is open to all service members.

air force martial arts

Photo: Staff Sgt. Austin Knox/USAF

Of course, just like in every service branch, the Air Force puts a premium on discipline. At Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, Tech. Sgt. Chananyah Stuart unsparingly reminds a trainee of the procedures for entering the dining facility.

air force bootcamp

Photo: Master Sgt. Jeffrey Allen/USAF


2014 also included integration exercises for the various service branches — such as Exercise Valiant Shield, which was held in Guam in September.

valient shield mil photo

Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Trevor Welsh/USAF

After a practice demonstration over Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, aircraft from the Thunderbirds, one of the Air Force’s demonstration squads, wait for clearance to land.

air force thunderbirds

Photo: Staff Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr./USAF

Here, an F-22 performs aerial demonstrations at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, in Alaska.

f-22 in alaska

Photo: Staff Sgt. Joseph Araiza/USAF

The Air Force also lent some of its older aircraft out as memorials during 2014. Here, airmen tow an F-15 to the Warner Robins, Georgia city hall for a memorial display.

f-15 in tow

Photo: Tech. Sgt. Regina Young/USAF


The Air Force deployed a vast range of aircraft in 2014. Here, a T-38 Talon flies in formation with a B-2 during a training mission.

t-38 talon and b-2 spirit

Photo: Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder/USAF

In April, a host of C-130Js and WC-130Js flew in formation over the Gulf Coast during Operation Surge Capacity, a training mission.

c-130 and wc-130J formation

Photo: Senior Airman Nicholas Monteleone/USAF

Here, U-2 pilots prepare to land in a TU-2S, a trainer aircraft for pilots before they undertake actual missions in the U-2.

t-2s sunset

Photo: Airman 1st Class Bobby Cummings/USAF

Members of the 101st Rescue Squadron also practiced a simulated rescue and tested the defensive capabilities of a HH-60 Pavehawk.

hh-60 pavehawk

Photo: Senior Airman Christopher S. Muncy


The US Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team performs at Mount Rushmore. Between the rise of ISIS and fears of Russian aggression in eastern Europe, 2014 presented the US Air Force with a range of challenges that it continues to try to meet head-on.

air force mount rushmore drill

Photo: 1st Lt. Nathan Wallin/USAF

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