Here's What It's Like Flying An F/A-18 Fighter Jet - We Are The Mighty
Intel

Here’s What It’s Like Flying An F/A-18 Fighter Jet

Since the early VHS days in the late ’80s squadron music video production quality has kept getting better and better. Here’s one from the Hornet (and Super Hornet) community circa 2013 that takes viewers into the cockpit for a spin around “the boat.”


Also Read: 17 Signs That You Might Be A Military Aviator

Shove the throttles forward, salute the catapult officer, and get ready to rock:

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Intel

The Navy’s New Weapon System Is A Laser Pointer On Steroids

The U.S. Navy Research team published a video on Wednesday showing off the capabilities of its new “Laser Weapon System” or LaWS, and it’s terrifying. It shoots a 30 kilowatt blast within 2 nanometers of its target according to Defense One.


Also Read: 7 Jobs That No Longer Exist In The Modern Navy

Simply put, it’s an oversized laser pointer on steroids.

The video starts with a time lapse of the weapon aboard a Navy ship while a boat appears over the horizon. It quickly cuts to an operator housed somewhere within the vessel. He’s standing in front of several screens holding what looks like a glorified X-Box controller. A blast is fired but there’s no bang, no smoke, no projectile, and no tracer, all you see is an explosion.

The video switches to a camera aboard the approaching boat for a close-up of the target. It’s a small stack of shells next to a cut-out of a human. The stack is precisely destroyed without damaging the wooden dummy.

Maybe I’ve seen too many comic book movies, but this is like X-Men’s Cyclops with an invisible laser beam.

Defense One reported that this is the Navy’s answer to drone attacks. Drones are becoming cheaper and more accessible, we’ve had them for years, but now American adversaries have begun to roll out their own versions. The LaWS will hopefully help the Navy keep drones at bay.

According to the Office of Naval Research, this isn’t the final version of the weapon. A more powerful 150-kilowatt version is scheduled for testing in 2016.

Check out the video:

usnavyresearch, YouTube

Articles

6 Other Times There Was Gunfire And Brian Williams Was Nowhere To Be Found

It was revealed today that NBC anchor Brian Williams has been telling a story about the Iraq invasion that turned out to be well, untrue. As Travis Tritten reported in Stars and Stripes on Wednesday, the anchor’s long-told story of being on a helicopter in 2003 in Iraq that was hit by RPG fire was a false claim repeated by him and the network for years.


Here at WATM, we strive to go above and beyond. We researched other times there was gunfire or battles occurring, and we found that in all these other instances, Brian Williams was again, nowhere to be found.

The Capture of Saddam Hussein

If Brian Williams was on site, we probably could have seen awesome footage of Delta Force operators kicking down doors, clearing rooms, and ultimately, capturing one of the world’s most-wanted men. But sadly, Brian Williams wasn’t there.

Here’s What It’s Like Flying An F/A-18 Fighter Jet

The Battle of Tora Bora

Though it would’ve been pretty sweet if he was around to watch U.S. Special Forces search for Bin Laden and other Al Qaeda fighters, we checked and it turns out that Brian Williams wasn’t there.

Here’s What It’s Like Flying An F/A-18 Fighter Jet
Photo: Wikimedia

All those times the U.S. hit militants in Yemen with drone strikes

We meticulously researched through Air Force and CIA records and it turns out that Brian Williams was not on a drone when it struck militants in Yemen. Even more shocking though, he wasn’t there in Pakistan, Afghanistan or any drone strikes.

Here’s What It’s Like Flying An F/A-18 Fighter Jet

The Osama bin Laden raid

Oh man. It would’ve been awesome if he was there to report on Bin Laden taking a couple bullets to the grape, but Brian Williams was in fact, not there.

Here’s What It’s Like Flying An F/A-18 Fighter Jet

Battle of Alasay, codename Operation Dinner Out

French allies confirmed that Brian Williams may have taken the operation name literally and actually went out for dinner.

Here’s What It’s Like Flying An F/A-18 Fighter Jet
Photo: Wikimedia

On the rooftop with Blackwater fighters shooting militants in the Battle of Najaf

It was a pretty controversial time when military contractors were found to be helping — and sometimes directing — soldiers in the defense of their compound. Brian Williams could have been there to report on what was happening at the time, but, as the video shows, he wasn’t even there.

Here’s What It’s Like Flying An F/A-18 Fighter Jet

WATM Executive Editor Paul Szoldra helped with this masterpiece.

Articles

The Air Force wants cyber weapons that can knock out Russia’s air defenses

Here’s What It’s Like Flying An F/A-18 Fighter Jet
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/ Ajvol


As foreign air defenses become more and more sophisticated, Air Force planners are working solutions to keep America’s technical edge, an edge that has been narrowing for the past few years. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh wants cyber solutions to enemy systems like the Russian Buk, the probable weapon that downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. He’s looking for cyber weapons that do things like filling an operator’s screen with false contacts, stopping a missile from launching or, the ultimate solution, allowing a missile to launch before redirecting it to attack its own launcher.

For the full rundown, check out this article at Defense One 

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Articles

The Vice President Just Pulled A ‘Jody’ Move At The Defense Secretary’s Swearing-In

At ease, sir!


Vice President Joe Biden appeared to be getting a little too chummy with Stephanie Carter, the wife of Ashton Carter, at the new Secretary of Defense’s swearing-in ceremony today. Biden rubbed her shoulders and whispered in her ear as her husband the SecDef gave remarks following the oath of office.

Officials later tried to explain that Biden was just trying to comfort Mrs. Carter because she was a bit shaken after falling on the ice on her way into the ceremony.

WATM’s counsel to the man who’s one heartbeat away from the presidency is this: Support the troops the right way. Don’t be that guy, Jody. It doesn’t help morale.

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Intel

These American veterans are fighting against ISIS — for very different reasons

As ISIS continues to expand its reach in Iraq and Syria, a small but growing number of U.S. veterans and foreign fighters from around the world have traveled to Iraq and Syria to join the fight against the terrorist group.


Every fighter has their own reasons for joining the fight, but for former Army Ranger Bruce Windorski, 40, and Marine Corps veteran Jamie Lane, 29, the fight is personal. Windorski is fighting to avenge the death of his brother – Philip Windorsky – who was killed when Iraqi insurgents shot down the Army helicopter he was traveling in during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009.

Lane is fighting to avenge the sacrifices of his fellow Marines and to keep the promise he made to the locals during a previous tour with the Marine Corps, according to this Wall Street Journal video.

The video shows real combat footage from Windorski and Lane’s GoPro mounted cameras.

Watch:

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Intel

Best Ranger Competition: annual event returns at Fort Benning

The Annual David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition was held April 16-19 at Fort Benning, GA, hosted by the Maneuver Center of Excellence and the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade. This notable Army tournament is a culmination of grueling physical, mental and tactical tasks. The encounter got its start back in 1982 when it began among Ranger units. The contest was later expanded to all U.S. Armed Forces in 1987, so long as the participants meet certain criteria: they must be Ranger qualified, serving as active-duty soldiers, and acting as a two-man team. 

The 2020 Best Ranger Competition (BRC) was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, marking this year as the 37th event. 

Over 60 hours, the teams competed in various events, kicking off at 0530 Friday. From there, teams fought in back-to-back tests that were designed to challenge and grade them individually and as a partnership. Extended foot marches, land navigation, and Ranger-specific tasks were laid out for the entire weekend, with some events being open for friends and family members to spectate. 

Each Best Ranger event is set up with 50 teams of participants who take on an array of events, which vary from year to year. Each BRC has included aspects of marksmanship, foot marches of 30+ miles (with a 60-lb ruck), military knots, weapons assemblies, obstacle course, land navigation, and water confidence/swim tests. 

From its inception, the BRC was meant to place “extreme demands on each buddy team’s physical, mental, technical, and tactical skills as Rangers.” This year did not disappoint.  

With no planned sleep, Rangers cover 60 miles while running, shooting, and identifying their way through obstacles; there was also a mystery event, leaving athletes in the dark on how to prepare. 

The winners

This year’s title went to 1st Lieutenant Vince Paikowski and 1st Lieutenant Alastair Keys. Team 34 landed themselves in the #1 slot at the end of Friday, the first full day of competing, and didn’t budge through the entire event. They finished the final buddy run on Sunday, and were awarded in a final ceremony on Monday, April 19th. 

The pair are stationed to the 75th Ranger Regiment out of Fort Benning, GA, and return the title back to the 75th for the first time since 2017. 

Notable Best Ranger facts

  • There are 50 teams, but no #13; tradition skips the unlucky number, leaving the last team at #51. 
  • The average Ranger in the BRC is 28 years old, 5’ 10” in height, and weighs 165 pounds.
  • 26% of participants have previously competed.
  • The most winningest participant of the BRC is CPT Mike Rose, who has won the competitions three separate times (twice with one partner and one with another). His last title was in 2019. Three others have been awarded the BRC twice, all with different partners each time. 
  • Teams turn in an intent to compete and are reviewed by command teams who then review the Rangers. This is done to include a collection of the best, highly trained Ranger-qualified soldiers.
Intel

Here is what the ISIS chain of command looks like

ISIS does not operate like a typical terrorist group. Unlike Al-Qaeda or the Taliban with a loosely connected network of terrorist cells, ISIS operates like a country with a conventional army.


In January 2014, the secret files of Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khilawi – best-known as Haji Bakr – were obtained after being killed in a firefight. Haji Bakr was a former colonel in the intelligence service of Saddam Hussein’s air defense force who later became ISIS’ head strategist. He’s been secretly pulling the strings at ISIS for years, according to a report by Spiegel.

When he died, he left the blueprint for the Islamic State. These documents show the structure of the Islamic State from top to bottom. This TestTube News video explains how ISIS’ chain of command is broken down according to Haji Bakr.

Watch:

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Intel

Watch Leonard Nimoy in a Marine Corps instructional video from 1954

Here’s What It’s Like Flying An F/A-18 Fighter Jet
Photo: Wikimedia


Long before he played the greatest Starfleet officer of all time and directed the immortal ‘The Voyage Home‘ Leonard Nimoy spent 18 months in the Army reserve. According to Military.com, Nimoy achieved the rank of sergeant and spent much of his army service “putting on shows for the Army Special Services branch which he wrote, narrated, and emceed.”

Also Watch: Actor Joe Mantegna Is Pushing Hard For Veterans’ Issues On ‘Criminal Minds’

Nimoy acted in the following instructional film along with future “Davy Crockett” star Fess Parker. It addressed what was then called combat fatigue, or the emotional and psychological toll of warfare. The film shows how Marine Corps psychologists were supposed to treat combat fatigue sufferers, giving a glimpse into how the wartime military of the 1950s dealt into the still-vital question of how to address the mental health needs of its troops. Nimoy appears as the first of the two Marines in the clip to undergo treatment.

This clip was made in 1954, shortly after the Korean War ended and 12 years before Star Trek premiered on NBC.

More from Business Insider:

This article originally appeared at Business Insider Defense Copyright 2015. Follow BI Defense on Twitter.

Intel

This is why Russia loves biological weapons so much

It’s no secret the Soviet Union had trouble keeping up with the United States in terms of heavy weapons during the Cold War. Even though the United States claimed there was a significant so-called “missile gap” between the US and the USSR, the reverse was actually true. 

In reality, though the Soviet Union kept a large number of intercontinental ballistic missiles, it preferred to spend on other weapons of mass destruction. The main reason was cost. Until the oil boom of the 1970s, the Soviet Union wasn’t as flush with cash as we tend to believe.

The USSR was looking for ways to be competitive in the arms race, but without the hefty price tag the United States military was paying to develop, build, and maintain its arsenal of nuclear ICBMs. 

According to defectors, the Soviets employed tens of thousands of scientists and workers to create alternative weapons of mass destruction, like chemical weapons but especially biological weapons. One Soviet scientist told the New York Times that biological weapons were very cheap, especially compared to nuclear and chemical weapons. 

Army Sgt. 1st Class Virginia Vaile-Nelson, a public affairs specialist assigned to the 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, conducts Nuclear Biological and Chemical training qualification at Camp Atterbury, Ind., Nov. 1, 2014.

Judging the weapons efficiency by how much it would cost to kill half the population of one square kilometer of the United States, there was just no comparison to biological warfare. 

“We calculated to achieve an effect [of killing half the population] in one square kilometer it cost $2,000 with conventional weapons, $800 with a nuclear weapon, and $600 with chemical weapons and $1 with biological weapons,” the scientist said. 

The Soviet Union created entire secret cities dedicated to developing biological weapons, often disguised as anti-biological weapons research stations. Even after signing onto the United Nations Biological Weapons Convention of 1972, the USSR continued to experiment with anthrax, tularemia, Q-fever, brucellosis, glanders, the plague, Crimean-Congo fever, typhus, botulism, Venezuelan equine encephalitis and smallpox. 

Many of these toxins were engineered to also be resistant to antibiotics and other common treatments for the diseases, forming “super” versions of the strains. 

It could also mass produce all of the biological agents on an industrial scale, even though it wasn’t necessary. Biological agents are difficult to weaponize for use against a military target. The Soviets had to keep its own weapons handlers from getting sick and spreading the pathogen, they had to deliver the weapons and then ensure it was resistant to treatment. 

By far the most horrifying examples of the effects of biological weapon use comes from the Soviet Union itself. In 1971, a smallpox weapon test accidentally infected the city of Aralsk in what is today Kazakhstan. It was powerful enough to be resistant to the smallpox vaccine and killed six people. In 1979, experimental anthrax spores escaped from a research facility in Sverdlovsk, killing 19 people before the virus was contained. 

The Soviets may have even used biological weapons in Afghanistan. In a 1999 book, former Soviet scientist Kenatjan Alibekov charges that the USSR sprayed glanders, bacteria found in  horses that can be lethal to humans, on Taliban rebels there. 

While weaponization is the most difficult step, it doesn’t take a lot of the pathogen to introduce it to a civilian population. As we have seen throughout the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, just a small introduction can have catastrophic effects on a population. Fallout from the spread of a disease can include hundreds of thousands of deaths, along with crippling production and economic consequences long before the pathogen is contained.

Intel

The Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson put on a tour for military vets

Here’s What It’s Like Flying An F/A-18 Fighter Jet


The Smashing Pumpkins and Marilyn Manson are teaming up with Easter Seals Dixon Center for their upcoming End Times tour to raise awareness and “change the conversation” about veterans in our communities, according to a new article in Rolling Stone magazine.

Both Manson and Billy Corgan come from military backgrounds: “We can speak to the personal effect that yes, we can be artists and yes, we can play these roles in public, but at the end of the day, if we don’t serve all our communities – [and] veterans are an integral part of our communities – we’re not really doing service as artists or as people,” Corgan told Rolling Stone.

The tour begins in Concord, California on July 7th.

Continue reading at Rolling Stone 

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Intel

An Air Force Academy cadet is trying to get Taylor Swift’s attention with this hilarious video

Here’s What It’s Like Flying An F/A-18 Fighter Jet
Photo: YouTube


U.S. Air Force cadet Brett Hagan has big plans for next year’s Ring Dance.

The 23-year-old cadet recently uploaded a music video he created for none other than Taylor Swift, in the hopes that she will watch and agree to attend the formal with him in May of 2016, which celebrates promoting juniors.

The hilarious video is getting a lot of attention for its witty references to Swift’s song lyrics and Hagan’s impressive performance.

Despite her mega-star status, Hagan is hopeful that the starlet will “just say yes.”

“We could get to show her all the awesome things we do here. All the different mission we do here and she gets the full experience

Here’s What It’s Like Flying An F/A-18 Fighter Jet
of what it means to be an Air Force Academy Cadet, not a lot of people get that opportunity,” Hagan told KKTV 11 News.

Now let’s just hope there’s no bad blood if she declines.

Check out Hagan’s awesome video here:

NOW: The 13 funniest military memes of the week

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