Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots - We Are The Mighty
Intel

Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots

Earlier in March, several Air Force squadrons flying a variety of aircraft, including fighter jets, helicopters, and remotely piloted aircraft, participated in a large combat search and rescue exercise in Romania.

Exercise Porcupine is an annual training event that tests and prepares the squadrons of the 31st Operations Group for combat operations. Not only does it test the capabilities and readiness of each individual squadron, but also their ability to work together as a team. This year, the exercise replicated the rescue of an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot who had been shot down over enemy territory.

All in all, the 510th Fighter Squadron, 606th Air Control Squadron, and the 56th and 57th Rescue Squadrons took place in the exercise with F-16 jets, HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters, and MQ-9 Reaper drones.

Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots
Two pararescuemen with the 57th Rescue Squadron search for a downed pilot during Operation Porcupine in Romania, March 4, 2021. Operation Porcupine demonstrated the unique capabilities of the 31st Operations Group, which hosts all assets needed to conduct a combat search and rescue mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas S. Keisler IV)

In the scenario, an F-16 fighter had been shot down by the enemy, but the pilot had managed to eject before the bird crashed and now was evading an enemy ground force that was coming after him. During that initial phase, a pilot’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Resistance (SERE) training is crucial as he tries to not only evade enemy forces and brutal captivity but also survive in a potentially harsh environment. Potential injuries make the above that much more difficult. For the purposes of Operation Porcupine, the F-16 pilot had a broken arm and pain in his back.

Then, the pilot had to make contact with friendly forces and direct them to his location for a rescue mission. Once proper contact was made with the rescue squadrons, a pair of HH-60G Pave Hawks went in to rescue the downed pilot. The choppers landed as close to the pilot as possible to make the job of the Pararescuemen easier.

“Our role in the HH-60s was to provide a rescue asset to aid in the recovery of any isolated personnel,” U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Richard Bush, a helicopter pilot with the 56th Rescue Squadron HH-60 pilot, said in a press release.

“Our ultimate goal was to rescue the pilot before he was captured by enemy forces. The importance of this exercise is to provide an opportunity for multiple [aircraft] to work together in a realistic and joint environment. There were definitely some things that arose that we had to work through on the fly, but overall I would call it a success and next year I imagine it will be the same.”

Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots
The Air Force special operations team that located and rescued then-Lieutenant Colonel David Goldfein after his F-16 fighter was shot down by a Serbian surface-to-air missile. During Operation Porcupine, the Air Force test its ability to repeat such a rescue (USAF).

Training for a downed pilot scenario is not uncommon. The scenario is especially pertinent in Europe as it has happened during active operations.

In 1999, as the air campaign against the Serbs was taking place in Bosnia, Lieutenant Colonel David Goldfein—who later became a four-star general and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force—and his F-16 fighter jet was shot down by a Serbian surface-to-air missile. With Serbian troops on his heels, Goldfein escaped and evaded until Air Commandos managed to locate and rescue him.

This article originally appeared on Sandboxx. Follow Sandboxx on Facebook.

Intel

Here’s How A Combat Wounded Veteran Got His Dream Shot At College Football

Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots
Photo: YouTube


Once a leader of soldiers under fire in Afghanistan, Daniel Rodriguez is now a leader on the football field.

He earned a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for his heroics in Afghanistan, and his story aired on many national shows and programs. Now Rodriguez is in his second season with the Clemson Tigers, attending on the G.I. Bill since 2012.

Also Read: Here’s What An Army Medic Does In The Critical Minutes After A Soldier Is Wounded

His 2011 recruiting video attracted the attention of Clemson head coach, Dabo Swinney, who allowed him to join the Tigers as a walk-on wide receiver. “Like a lot of people, I was mesmerized by the video, his work ethic, and his drive to chase a dream,” Coach Swinney said in the video.

His dream to play college football started with a pact he made with his squad buddy, Pfc. Kevin Thompson, who also aspired to play. But Thompson was killed in the same fight against the Taliban for which Rodriguez earned his awards. Out of the 38 American troops who fought that day, eight were killed and 22 were injured, including Rodriguez. Rodriguez is fueled by this experience and the promise he made to his buddy.

NOW:This is what happens when you put a sailor in a stock car

OR: This Iraq vet kayaker will make you rethink PTSD

Articles

Medal Of Honor Hero Kyle Carpenter Just Gave An Inspiring Speech That Everyone Should Read

Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots


Former Marine Cpl. Kyle Carpenter gave a powerful speech to his fellow veterans of the Battle of Marjah recently that everyone should take the time to read.

Also Read: 4 Reasons Why Going To War Gives Veterans An Edge Over Their Civilian Peers 

Carpenter, who received the Medal of Honor last year for jumping on a grenade to save his friend’s life during the battle, told his fellow Marines that “it’s your medal” at a reunion on the five-year anniversary of Operation Moshtarak last week at the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

“With this short amount of time I have to speak to you tonight, I couldn’t possibly sum up the historical battle of Marjah,” Carpenter said in his speech, according to a transcription from Hope Hodge Seck of Marine Corps Times. “I am comforted, though, by the fact that the men in this room don’t need a summary because you were right there beside me. You felt the incredible heat of a 100 percent humidity day and the cool waters of a muddy canal. You felt the weight of 100 pounds of gear, ammo and water at your back, the weight of knowing as Marines we are and forever will be the first line of defense for our loved ones, our nation and above all, freedom.”

Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots
Kyle Carpenter and Nick Eufrazio

The Battle of Marjah involved 15,000 American, Afghan, Canadian, British, and French troops in the largest joint operation up to that point in the Afghan war. The effort to wrestle the key town of Marjah from the Taliban took NATO forces nearly 10 months, according to ABC News.

“I stand here today extremely proud of you all. I’m proud of the job you did in the face of what most cannot even fathom. I am more than honored to call you friends, fellow Marines and brothers,” Carpenter said. “You stand as an example for others and for what’s best for not only our nation but the rest of the world.”

In his speech, Carpenter did not reference his incredible example from Nov. 21, 2010, when he jumped on a grenade while providing rooftop security at a small outpost. “I only remember a few moments after I got hit,” Carpenter told me previously when I interviewed him for Business Insider. “But nothing before.”

He was severely wounded — as was his friend Lance Cpl. Nick Eufrazio — but both survived. While Carpenter lost his right eye and took shrapnel throughout his face and lower body, his recovery has been nothing short of remarkable.

Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots
Photo: The White House

Carpenter continued (via Marine Times):

Be proud of who you are. Be proud of what you did in that country. You are alive today and have been blessed with this opportunity of life. Don’t waste it. Live a life worth living, full of meaning and purpose, and one that will make the fallen who are looking down on us proud.

Marines, I’m proud to have worn the same uniform as you.

Never forget that when no one else would raise their right hand, you did. You sacrificed and became part of our nation’s history and our Marine Corps legacy for taking part in the historical battleground of Marjah. Thank you so much. I really do appreciate it.

Marine Corps Times has the full speech. It’s definitely worth a read.

NOW: This Hero Saved Six Soldiers From A Burning Vehicle While He Was Drenched In Fuel 

OR: 10 Photos That Capture The Military Experience 

Intel

6 ways to signal for help if you’re lost in the woods

We’ve all heard the stories of people who get stranded out in the middle of nowhere and go to some crazy lengths to survive. Since most people don’t prepare for getting get stuck out in the elements, they typically don’t bring a complete collection of survival gear with them.

If you find yourself marooned somewhere that doesn’t get cell-phone service and you’re unable to contact a lifeline, things start to get a little stressful. Luckily, most people have enough materials either on their person or nearby to send out a signal that just might save their life.


Send out smoke signals

This is probably the most universally known last-ditch-effort signal to send to rescue crews. Smoke can billow up and be seen for miles. Since you’re using a fire source to create the smoke, always keep your surroundings in mind. Yes, you want to be rescued, but don’t burn down the forest around you to do it. It can get real dangerous real quick.

Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots

Ground-to-air signals

Unfortunately, this type of signal is best when the material you use to spell out a message is nearly the opposite shade of the material on which it lays. After all, you don’t want to distress signal to become camouflaged with the environment. That will kill any hope of being located.

Make any message short and big. Writing “SOS” is the most popular and is widely recognized.

Water dye

Most of the population enjoys a relaxing day, chilling on a boat as it sails in a large body of water. But what if you’re out in the ocean and that boat sinks? Should that terrible event come to life, most boats are outfitted with survival cases, containing extra water, some rations, and dye used to signal overhead planes.

Typically, the dye is a bright-green color, which contrasts greatly with dark seawater. The dye is dissolves bit by bit, creating a trail that leads to the boat or life preserver as it drifts.

Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots

Eye-level ground markers

Since you can’t be everywhere at once to spot incoming rescue, creating eye-level ground markers is a great idea. Even in your absence, these are clear indicators that someone’s around.

The eye-level tags can be clothes or any other material as long as it stands out against the surroundings.

Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots

Whistles

Sounds travel fast and far, but yelling for long periods is rough on your throat. If you just so happen to have a whistle in your car or in your pocket, that’s great. Since you probably don’t, you can construct a temporary one by cutting out a wedge in a hollow piece of wood.

Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots

Aim right for the eyes.

Reflect light with a mirror

Extremely bright lights can be seen from several miles away. Now, you can’t generate generate a light as bright as that fiery ball in the sky, but you sure can reflect that f*cker. Using a mirror or a makeup compact you can reflect and redirect the sun’s rays to capture a rescuer’s attention from afar.

It’s literally that simple.

Intel

This Oscar nominated film deals with the consequences of bad rules of engagement

The Danish film ‘A War’ is about an officer who had to make a hard decision under fire and the legal charges he faced when he returned home. It’s an unflinching look at military families, the strains of separation during deployment, and the unforgiving nature of commanding troops under fire while wrestling with restrictive rules of engagement.


The film has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and will be released in limited theaters starting February 12.

 

Intel

What would happen if the F-35 attacked Russia’s S-400 missile system

The United States’ NATO ally Turkey is in hot water over its purchase of the Russian-made S-400 missile system. Turkey also purchased the U.S. F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which the U.S. has not delivered due to the sanctions imposed as a result of Turkey’s S-400 missiles.

The Turkish Defense Minister recently doubled down on Turkey’s S-400 missiles, saying it would rather not be a part of NATO’s integrated defense if it meant giving up the missiles. But are they getting the better deal? 

A Russian S-400 Triumf. (Image by Vitaliy Ragulin, Wikipedia)
A Russian S-400 Triumf. (Image by Vitaliy Ragulin, Wikipedia)

The Russian S-400 was first designed in the 1990s with many real-world scenarios in mind. But since the F-35 and the F-22 were still years away, how could the Russians be prepared for that kind of technology?

There are a few important things to know about the F-35. The first is that it’s a multi-role attack aircraft. It can be used for reconnaissance and electronic warfare just as easily as making strafing runs. The plane’s avionic collects and shares information with the entire command and control structure. 

Secondly, the major threat behind the F-35 is its stealth ability combined with its heavy weapons payload. The aircraft is designed to enter airspace undetected and clear the way for more U.S. forces. To do this, it needs to enter unseen while being able to strike from long distances. It can attack targets from more than 100 miles away.

While the exact range of its weapons are classified, the F-35 can essentially enter the battlespace undetected, disrupt enemy sensors, and then see and hit targets from more than a hundred miles away. How do you defend against that?

Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots
F-35 Lightning II demonstration team members sprint to their positions during the ground show at the Defenders of Liberty Air & Space Show at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., May 17, 2019.
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexander Cook)

The Russian S-400 is an interesting counter to the long ranges of the F-35 for many reasons. First and foremost is that the S-400 missiles aren’t just some missiles fired from the back of a truck. The system is designed to be integrated into existing anti-air radar systems, including ones that were developed in the 1980s.

The S-400 was also designed to be integrated into other aircraft, missile systems, and even armored personnel carriers on the ground. So the addition of the S-400 gives a boost to the capabilities of any surface weapons already in place. 

Another major feature of the Russian missiles is the face that its command post doesn’t need to be near any one of the missile sites, so destroying an S-400 battery isn’t necessarily catastrophic to its integrated air defense system. 

While it’s not known if the Russian S-400 radar can see the F-22 or F-35, the system is designed to react quickly should they detect an incoming attack. The S-400 provides similar electronic warfare and jamming capabilities as the F-35. Each radar site is also capable of using electronic countermeasures to throw anti-radar missiles off course. And if the Russians have to shut down the active radar, there are still passive radar that could provide information from cellphone towers and television and radio broadcast towers, while emitting no radar signals. 

The S-400 is a decentralized system of eyes and missile launchers spread over hundreds of miles, using active and passive radar, target masking, creating false targets and launching missiles that can hit aircraft from more than 150 miles away.

Low-observable – or “stealth” – systems are the biggest issue. The stealth systems of the F-22 and F-35 are designed to reflect incoming radar signals in a different direction, so that radar signals won’t return to the point of origin. With bistatic radar, the signal isn’t supposed to go to a single point of origin – the transmitter and receiver are in two different places. 

While bistatic radar doesn’t negate the advantages of stealth technology, it sure is a pain in the side of an F-35 pilot. 

With so many classified variables in each system, it’s impossible to say for certain what would happen in a fight between F-35s or F-22s and the Russian S-400. The deciding factor will be who sees who first, and what ability they have to fend off the attack. What we can say for certain is that the S-400 is probably the F-35’s most formidable opponent. 

Intel

Here’s What It’s Like For Marines Fighting The Taliban

U.S. Marines have been engaging in combat against the Taliban since 2001. While the scenery has changed a bit as Marines have moved to different areas of operation, the fight has remained the same. From small arms to rocket-propelled grenades, the Taliban has continued to attack U.S. forces, and they have responded, often with intense and overwhelming fire.


Also Read: This Powerful Film Tells How Marines Fought ‘One Day Of Hell’ In Fallujah

This video from Funker 530 gives a good look at what it’s like for Marines engaging against the Taliban. With a compilation of regular camera and GoPro footage, this gives a look at what happens in a firefight.

As retired Marine Gen. James Mattis said, “there is nothing better than getting shot at and missed.” We definitely agree.

Check it out:

 

NOW: Incredible Photos Of US Marines Learning How To Survive In The Jungle During One Of Asia’s Biggest Military Exercises

OR: Here’s The Intense Training For Marines Who Guard American Embassies

Intel

Marine vet/comedian Rob Riggle uses his star power to showcase veterans’ strengths

Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots


Popular comedic actor and retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Rob Riggle volunteered his time to star in a new public service announcement to help showcase the strengths of military veterans.

The PSA titled “What to Wear” is the third in a series created by Easter Seals Dixon Center, a non-profit changing the conversation about veterans and military families to highlight their potential and create life-changing opportunities.

The majority of the PSA’s production team were made up of veterans, including actor and Air Force veteran Brice Williams, who co-stars with Riggle, and director Jim Fabio, who currently serves as an Air Force Combat Camera Officer (all three are pictured above). Fabio was selected out of more than 50 directors — all military veterans — and was mentored by Hollywood producer-writer Judd Apatow during the process.

Learn more about how the project came together by reading Col. David Sutherland’s post on the Easter Seals Blog 

Or watch all three PSA’s on the campaign’s website

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76Gt1MYpmyw

Intel

The Smartest and Most Hilarious Army-Navy Video Shot This Year

Like any genre or series, over the years the Army-Navy game “Spirit Spot” videos have run the gamut in terms of production values, imagination, and humor. This one gets the WATM vote for best one produced this year:


Watch the 2014 Army-Navy game live from MT Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland on CBS at 3 PM EST.

NOW: Watch Leonard Nimoy In A Marine Corps Instructional Video From 1954

OR WATCH: From US Marine To Successful Photographer

Intel

This First-Person Video Shows What Tankers See While Blowing Targets Away

Tanks firing isn’t something many people think of as requiring marksmanship, but tankers take it very seriously. A new video shows Marines engaging targets at the range, and most of the footage is from the perspective of the tankers.


Also Read: 7 Incredible Narco Tanks Built By Mexican Cartels

With tanks firing, the big gun is, of course, the main draw. The 120-mm smoothbore can accurately fire shells over 2 kilometers.

Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots

But the video also shows the operations of the loader, the crew member who feeds the gun.
Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots

The tanks are on a firing line and there are great shots of one tank firing right after another.
Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots
Machine guns on the tank are not as flashy but crucial for protecting the crew. They get to spit some brass, too.
Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots

Check out the full video on Youtube:

NOW: These Crazy Photos Show 30+ Ton Tanks In Flight

OR: How Well Do You Know The M4 Sherman Tank? Take the quiz

Intel

We asked civilians to name the five military branches. This is the hilarious result.

We sent our “Vet On The Street” to downtown Hollywood to find out if people could identify the five major branches of the United States military. U.S. Marine Corps veteran and comic James P. Connolly interviewed Freddy Krueger, Captain America, Jack Sparrow and others and got some “interesting” answers. Check it out:


NOW: This video shows how ‘Full Metal Jacket’ was made

OR: We got an inside look at the crazy guns used in ‘Terminator Genisys’

Intel

The US Military Once Considered Making A ‘Gay Bomb’

Operation Porcupine: The Air Force plan to rescue downed F-16 pilots
Photo: Wikimedia


Yes, you read the headline correctly. In 1994, an Air Force laboratory submitted a three-page proposal to develop a hormone bomb that would turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals.

Also Read: 13 Tips For Dating On A US Navy Ship

“The Ohio Air Force lab proposed that a bomb be developed that contained a chemical that would cause enemy soldiers to become gay, and to have their units break down because all their soldiers became irresistibly attractive to one another,” reported Edward Hammond of bioweapon activist group the Sunshine Project.

The Air Force requested a $7.5 million grant and six years to create the bomb and other non-lethal weapons according to their project, “Harassing, Annoying and ‘Bad Guy’ Identifying Chemicals.”

Aside from the “gay bomb,” the laboratory also included similarly questionable ideas, such as bad breath bombs, flatulence bombs and bombs designed to attract stinging insects.

After the program was revealed, the Pentagon responded (via the BBC):

Captain Dan McSweeney of the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate at the Pentagon said the defence department receives “literally hundreds” of project ideas, but that “none of the systems described in that [1994] proposal have been developed”.

He told the BBC: “It’s important to point out that only those proposals which are deemed appropriate, based on stringent human effects, legal, and international treaty reviews are considered for development or acquisition.”

For their attempt to bring such innovative ideas to the battlefield, the Air Force research group was awarded the IG Nobel Peace Prize – a parody set of the Nobel Prizes – in 2007.

This short video demonstrates how the ‘gay bomb’ would work in real-life:

ALSO: A Top US Navy Officer Thinks That One Of The F-35’s Most Hyped Capabilities Is ‘Overrated’

AND: DARPA Is Making A Real Life Terminator (Seriously)

Do Not Sell My Personal Information