The Navy Is Scrapping The Aircraft Carrier Once Called The 'Top Gun Of The Pacific' - We Are The Mighty
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The Navy Is Scrapping The Aircraft Carrier Once Called The ‘Top Gun Of The Pacific’

Photo: Jamie Adam/ Flickr


It will take a miracle to save the USS Ranger from being destroyed.

The battle-worn aircraft carrier received her final orders to report to Brownsville, Texas where she will be dismantled in early 2015, according to a December 22 release from the Naval Sea Systems Command.

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

Commissioned in 1957, Ranger is one of four Forrestal-class supercarriers. She earned 13 battle stars before being decommissioned in 1993.

From 1993 to 2004, the Navy kept Ranger on standby for possible reactivation until the carrier was stricken from the Naval Vessel Register, and redesigned for donation. During the eight years the ship was available, no group came forward with the necessary funds or plans to convert her into a museum or memorial.

Besides being distinguished for her military service, she also became famous for cameos in shows like The Six Million Dollar Man and Black Sheep Squadron, and films such as Star Trek IV, Flight of the Intruder, and Top Gun.

An organization known as Top Gun Super Carrier of Long Beach Inc. came up with an online petition to convince the Navy to spare the ship:

“Right now, we just want a stay of execution,” said recently appointed project manager Michael B. Shanahan. “As a brand new team charged with repurposing the USS Ranger, we want to work with Navy, NAVSEA and City of Long Beach for the best possible outcome. We know that saving the USS Ranger would have significantly more far-reaching economic, historic and social benefits than scrapping it. This is our last chance to stop the loss of an irreplaceable cultural and historic asset.”

Here’s a video showing what Ranger could become if the adequate resources were pulled together to save this great ship:

NOW: 37 Awesome Photos Of Life On A US Navy Carrier

AND: Here’s What ‘Top Gun’ Would Look Like In 2014

Intel

Watch Rob Riggle hilariously ‘audition’ for a part in ‘Top Gun 2’

There’s going to be sequel to “Top Gun” that brings back Tom Cruise as Maverick, but comedian/actor (and Marine veteran) Rob Riggle wants a shot to be in the movie.


With a pretty hilarious “audition” video shot last year for Funny or Die, we say he definitely needs a role. So what if “Top Gun 2” is going to be about drone warfare, Riggle would be way better than “Goose.”

Gotta love the callsign he ends up with: “Ringtone.”

Watch:

Intel

These Are The Weapons That Russia Is Pouring Into Eastern Ukraine

As Russian military supplies continue to enter Ukraine, it becomes harder by the day for Putin to deny that Moscow is providing arms to the separatists.


In fact Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the US Army’s top commander in Europe, says that Russian support for separatists has “doubled” since Ukraine and Russia reached a tentative ceasefire.

“When you look at the amount of Russian equipment that the proxies were using prior to the Minsk agreements, that amount has doubled beginning in December into the hundreds,” Hodges told reporters on his first visit to Ukraine.

Russian support for the separatists include artillery, surveillance drones, and armored vehicles that would otherwise be next to impossible for a rebel group to obtain.

“Those are not the types of things you would find in a militia. They clearly are coming from a modern military force coming from Russia,” Hodges said.

In November, the Armament Research Services has released their third report on the arms and munitions being used by both the Ukrainian government and the rebels in the ongoing conflict. Complete with photographic evidence, it is clear that Moscow has been covertly supplying an assortment of older Soviet weaponry along with recently introduced Russian equipment to the separatists.

Self-Loading Rifles

ak-47 russian separatists weapons AK-47 (Photo: Wikimedia)

Self-loading rifles are a popular weapon of the separatist forces.

Aside from a number of AK rifle varieties, the separatists also sport a host of recreation hunting and sport firearms. In one case, a separatist was documented using VSS rifles. These are Russian-made marksman rifles that are analogous to those used by Russian forces during the annexation of Crimea.

The self-loading rifles used by the separatists include:

  • Soviet AK-74
  • Soviet AKS-74U
  • Soviet AR-10 and AR-15 hunting rifles
  • Russian VSS designated marksman rifle

Light Machine Guns

RPK-74 (Photo: Wikimedia)

Light machine guns make up some of the most common weaponry of the separatists.

The light machine guns utilized by the separatists include weaponry used by the Ukrainian military, as well as Russian-produced guns that are not in service with Ukrainian forces. The PKP ‘Pecheneg’ light machine gun, for example, is not used by the Ukrainian forces and has been exported outside of Russia in only minimal quantities.

The light machine guns used by the separatists include:

  • Russian RPK-74
  • Russian PK and PK GPMGs
  • Russian PKP ‘Pecheneg’ 

Shotguns and Bolt-Action Rifles

Saiga 12 Shotgun (Photo: Wikimedia)

The use of shotguns and bolt-action rifles have been documented as being used by separatists who are incapable of accessing better quality small arms.

Some older bolt-action sporting rifles have also been documented being used by the separatists. These rifles are in some cases antiques, dating to use with the Russian infantry from World War II or earlier.

The shotguns and bolt-action rifles used by the separatists include:

  • Russian semi-automatic Saiga 12 shotguns
  • Turkish semi-automatic Akkar Altay shotguns
  • Philippino Armscor Model 30 pump-action shotgun
  • Russian infantry Mosin M91 rifle

Handguns

handguns russian separatists weapons Makarov PM Handgun (Photo: Wikimedia)

Russian crafted handguns dominate as the principal choice for the separatists.

Igor “Strelkov” Girkin, the former leader of the Donbass People’s Militia and governor of Luhansk, has had photos carefully taken of him handling a Russian Stechkin APS. The APS was originally designed for Russian vehicle, artillery, and RPG crews.

The handguns used by the separatists include:

  • Russian Makarov PM
  • Russian Stechkin APS

Anti-Material Rifles

PTRS-41 Rifle (Photo: Wikimedia)

Anti-material rifles are light weapons that have been designed for use against military equipment rather than use against people.

The anti-material rifles being used by the separatists include outdated and obsolete Soviet World War II era anti-tank rifles (the PTRS-41) and the equally old PTRD. In at least one case, separatists were found to be using the Russian ASVK anti-material rifle. The ASVK has only been introduced into the Russian military within the past two years and none have been known to have been exported.

The anti-material rifles used by the separatists include:

  • Soviet PTRS-41
  • Soviet PTRD
  • Russian ASVK

Heavy Machine Guns

DShKM Machine Gun (Photo: Wikimedia)

The origins of the heavy machine guns used by the separatists in Ukraine is murky. Both the Ukrainian government and the separatists use similar weaponry, and it is possible that the rebels salvaged the weaponry from Ukrainian military vehicles.

In general, the heavy machine guns used by the separatists are fairly old. Most date

back to the Soviet Union, while the Maxim PM1910 may date back as early as the Russian Empire. The PM1910 was likely looted from a museum or a historical re-enactment community.

The heavy machine guns used by the separatists include:

  • Soviet DShKM
  • Soviet NSV and NSVT
  • Soviet Maxim PM1910

Underbarrel and Automatic Grenade Launchers

GP-25 Grenade Launcher (Photo: Wikimedia)

Like the heavy machine guns, both the Ukrainian government and the separatists have used the same variety of underbarrel and automatic grenade launchers.

In the case of eastern Ukraine, it is impossible to determine whether the grenade launchers were captured from Ukrainian soldiers or were provided to the separatists from Russia.

The grenade launchers used by the separatists include:

  • Soviet GP-25
  • Soviet AGS-17 AGLs

Portable Anti-Tank Systems

RPG-7 (Photo: Wikimedia)

The separatists have a wide variety of portable anti-tank systems. For the most part, the rebels seem to prefer the use of rocket propelled grenades of the legacy RPG-7 launcher. However, the rebels have also used more modern RPG-18 and RPG-22 systems.

Notably, separatists have also been documented using MRO-A disposable incendiary rocket launcher systems. These systems are not known to have ever been exported outside of Russia.

The portable anti-tank systems used by the separatists include:

  • Soviet RPG-7
  • Soviet RPG-22
  • Soviet RPG-26
  • Russian RPG-18
  • Russian RPO-A 
  • Russian MRO-A

Crew-Served Recoilless Guns and Mortars

SPG-9 Recoilless Gun (Photo: Wikimedia)

Used alongside the portable anti-tank systems are a mixture of Soviet-era recoilless guns and mortars. These weapons are generally dated. There is no direct evidence that these weapons have been provided by the Russians to the separatists, as both the Ukrainian government and the separatists make use of similar systems.

The crew-served recoilless guns and mortars used by the separatists include:

  • Soviet SPG-9 recoilless gun
  • Soviet 82 and 120 mm mortar tubes
  • Soviet 120 mm 2B16 Nona-K

Anti-Tank Guided Weapons

9K111 Firing (Photo: Wikimedia)

Anti-tank guided weapons (ATGWs) have been documented in large numbers in the hands of the separatists. The majority of these ATGWs are used by both the Ukrainian military and the separatists.

However, the separatists have also been documented using the 9K135 Kornet ATGW system. The Kornet is not in service with the Ukrainian military, although it is used by the Russians. Based on discarded components found on the battlefield, the missiles used for the Kornet were produced in Russia in 2007.

Russia has exported the Kornet to several other states around the world, and militants in Gaza, Iraq, Libya, and Syria have all been documented using the weapon system.

The ATGWs used by the separatists include:

  • Soviet 9K111
  • Soviet 9K114
  • Soviet 9K115
  • Russian 9K135

Man-Portable Air Defense Systems

Strela Launcher (Photo: Wikimedia)

Separatist forces have a large array of man-portable air defense systems (MANPADs) and anti-aircraft guns. By and large, the MANPADs that the separatists have been using are of the same make as what is within the Ukrainian arsenal. There have been reports of separatists seizing supplies of MANPADs from the Ukrainian military early in the conflict.

However, in one notable exception, Polish PPZR Grom MANPADs were captured from the separatists. One of the only countries that Poland ever exported the PPZR to was Georgia. In 2008, during Russia’s invasion of the country, Russia was known to have captured some of the Polish-supplied PPZRs. It is likely that those captured weapons are now being funneled to the separatists.

The MANPADs used by the separatists include:

  • Soviet 9K38
  • Soviet 9K32
  • Polish PPZR Grom

Anti-Aircraft Guns

ZU-23-2 Anti-Aircraft Gun (Photo: Wikimedia)

Aside from MANPADs, the separatists also have a varied arsenal of anti-aircraft guns. At times, these weapons have also been turned against Ukrainian military personnel and light vehicles.

The anti-aircraft guns that the separatists, and to a smaller extent the Ukrainian government, have been utilizing are heavy machine guns mounted in one, two, and four barrel configurations. The separatists likely captured the anti-aircraft weapons from the Ukrainian military.

The anti-aircraft systems used by the separatists include:

  • Soviet 14.5 x 114 mm ZPU 
  • Soviet ZU-23-2

Artillery

D-30 Howitzer (Photo: Wikimedia)

Artillery has become one of the primary methods of engagement between the Ukrainian government and separatist fighters. Indiscriminate shelling by both sides has led to widespread destruction throughout portions of eastern Ukraine, along with significant civilian casualties.

Both the Ukrainian government and the separatists use the same varieties of Soviet and Russian artillery in their engagements. As such, it is difficult to determine whether the rebels had received these arms directly from Russia or had looted them from the Ukrainian military.

The artillery systems used by the separatists include:

  • Soviet 122 mm D-30 howitzer
  • Soviet 100 mm BS-3 anti-tank gun
  • Soviet 100 mm MT-12 anti-tank gun
  • Soviet 152 mm 2A65 Msta-B
  • Soviet 76 mm ZiS-3 field gun

Main Battle Tanks

T-64 Tank (Photo: Wikimedia)

Both Ukrainian governmental forces and the separatists have placed high value on the use of main battle tanks. In many cases, the separatists are utilizing captured Ukrainian tanks, or tanks of the same model provided by the Russians.

However, the separatists have also used Russian tanks that are not known to have ever been exported outside of the country such as the T-72B and T-72BA. Notably, the separatists have also deployed the T-72B3, the latest T-72 model in the Russian service. The tank is not known to have been exported and it was just introduced into service in 2013 indicating Russian involvement in the crisis.

The main battle tanks used by the separatists include:

  • Soviet T-64A, B, BM, and BV models
  • Russian T-72 B
  • Russian T-72BA
  • Russian T-72B3

Infantry Fighting Vehicles and Armored Personnel Carriers

BMP-2 (Photo: Wikimedia)

Infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) and armored personnel carriers (APCs) are the most documented type of armored fighting vehicle in use in Ukraine. Both IFVs and APCs are designed to function as armored troop carriers, with IFVs being differentiated as having an armament of 20 mm in calibre or larger for offensive capabilities.

Although the separatists and the Ukrainians use many of the same IFVs and APCs, separatists have been documented using Russian-variants of APCs in the Ukrainian arsenal that were designed in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Strikingly, separatists have also been documented driving the BTR-82AM IFV. This model was inducted into Russian service in 2013 and is not known to have ever been exported.

The IFV and APC systems used by the separatists include:

  • Soviet BMP-2
  • Soviet MT-LB
  • Russian BTR-82Am
  • Russian MT-LB 6MA, MT-LBVM, and MT-LBVMK

Self-Propelled Artillery

2S1 Gvozdika (Photo: Wikimedia)

Both the Ukrainians and the separatists have utilized the same variants of self-propelled artillery. Given the models and the Ukrainian numerical advantage in fielding these weapon types, the separatists likely looted or captured their self-propelled artillery.

The self-propelled artillery systems used by the separatists include:

  • Soviet 2S1 Gvozdika
  • Soviet 2S3 Akatsia
  • Soviet 2S5 Giatsint-S
  • Soviet 2S9 Nona-S

Self-Propelled Rocket Artillery

9k51 Grad Launcher (Photo: Wikimedia)

Much like self-propelled artillery, the Ukrainian government has used self-propelled rocket artillery significantly more than the separatists have. In almost every occasion that the separatists have used rocket artillery, the weapons systems used were identical to what is in the arsenal of the Ukrainian government.

Although the separatists have generally used the 9K51 Grad rocket system, which may or may not have been looted from Ukrainian forces, the rebels also have used a 9K51M Tornado-G. This is a modernized Grad system that was likely supplied by the Russians. However, documented proof of the separatist’s using this system is limited.

The self-propelled rocket artillery systems used by the separatists include:

  • Soviet 9K51 Grad
  • Russian 9K51 Tornado-G 

Self-Propelled Air Defense Systems

9K33 Osa (Photo: Wikimedia

In addition to MANPADs, the separatists have made frequent use of self-propelled air defense systems. These systems seek to negate the Ukrainian government’s complete aerial dominance. The systems have proved effective at downing Ukrainian aircraft and were also involved in the tragic downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17.

The rebels in general have used air defense systems that are present in the Ukrainian military. However, the separatists have also utilized Russian Pantsir-S1 and Buk missile systems that were not in the Ukrainian arsenal.

The self-propelled air defense systems used by the separatists include:

  • Soviet 9K33, 9K35, and 9K37 
  • Russian Pantsir-S1
  • Russian Buk missile system 

More from Business Insider:

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

Intel

This tradition has two churches fighting a holy rocket war

The Greek town of Vrontados on the island of Chios has an Easter tradition they call Rouketopolemos, which literally means Rocket War.


This annual event pits two rival parishes against each other by firing tens of thousands of home-made rockets at the opposing side’s bell tower. The next day, both congregations count the direct hits to determine the winner, but no matter the results, each parish claims victory. Since both sides end in disagreement, they agree to settle the score next year, thus perpetuating the rivalry.

The origins of this tradition are unclear, but one popular story states that it was born from the Turkish occupation of Greece. People from the island were prohibited from celebrating Easter the way they used to. So, the Christians from the churches of San Maria and San Marco decided to have a fake war with rockets to keep the Turkish away. Frightened by the sudden violence, the Turkish kept their distance. In the meantime, the communities celebrated Easter they way they were accustomed to, according to Rocketwar.

The midnight rocket war is truly a spectacle, the action begins at 3:40 of this video:

NOW: This guy built the ultimate gatling gun out of Roman candles

OR: 13 signs you’re an infantryman

Intel

Here is what the Marines’ only Sith Lord does for the troops

Arts In The Armed Forcers (AITAF) is a non-profit organization started by actors Adam Driver and Joanne Tucker to bring thought-provoking and impactful contemporary theater to the U.S. military.


Related: Marine Corps vet turned Star Wars villain is hilarious in this SNL sketch

“We’re hoping to show that language is a powerful tool, that self-expression is a powerful tool — it’s just as valuable as any rifle you carry or any tool you can put in your pack,” said Marine Corps veteran-turned-actor Adam Driver (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) while introducing a military audience to a performance.

In this VICE News video, Driver and his fellow actors (including Joanne Tucker, Natasha Lyonne, Eric Bogosian, Peter Scolari, Sasheer Zamata, and many more) are followed to bases across the country, and overseas as they perform for military audiences. He also explains his motivation and reasons for giving back to the military community.

Watch this short four-minute video for a quick synopsis:

Or, if you have time, watch the entire 30-minute video:

Intel

The history behind Veterans Day in two minutes

In the United States, November 11th is the day we commemorate the men and women who swore an oath to protect and defend our constitution against our enemies with service in the military. What is now known as Veterans Day was originally observed for a different reasons than it is today.


To begin with, it was called Armistice day in commemoration of the cease-fire between Germany and the Allied Nations during World War I. Although the war didn’t officially end until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, the real fighting stopped on November 11, 1918 — “at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.”

Also read: This is how 12 other countries celebrate their version of Veterans Day

That’s just one fact in the evolution of Veterans Day as we know it today. This History Channel video tells you everything you need to know in two minutes.

Watch the full video below: 

And for all our veterans out there, thank you for your service — and enjoy these tips on how to make the most out of your day!
Intel

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

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

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

Intel

This music video just raised the bar for all military music parodies

Made on a budget of $0, the Annapolis midshipmen’s version of Mark Ronson’s “Uptown Funk” featuring Bruno Mars is the most polished military music parody to date. The cast and crew consist entirely of midshipmen, and it perfectly captures the joy of being on liberty. The crew even managed to mashup Anchors Away into the funky tune, listen closely around 3:00 of the video.


Watch the hilarious video below:

(Naptown Funk, YouTube)
Intel

The inspiring story behind this viral photo of Texas A&M cadets


A photo taken of the stands at a Texas AM home football game in October captured what the “Aggie Spirit” is all about, according to the school’s Commandant of the Corps of Cadets.

The photo, taken of the stands on Oct. 3 while the Aggies played against Mississippi State, shows a group of cadets cheering and watching the game. One cadet stands silently, holding his young son as he sleeps in his arms.

That cadet is 28-year-old Kevin Ivey, a student at the university who previously served for eight years in the Marine Corps. With a tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Ivey left the Marine Corps a single dad of a six-year-old boy, according to KAGS-TV. His commanding officer was an Aggie, and he decided he wanted to be one himself.

KHOU writes:

So Ivey and his son Calvin loaded up their pickup truck and headed to College Station, where Ivey had been accepted into Delta Company, a group of 25 veterans in the 2,500 member Corps of Cadets. But when he arrived, he couldn’t immediately find an apartment. A Marine on a limited budget, and with his schooling paid for by the GI Bill, couldn’t dig up the deposits each apartment complex was demanding for him and his son to move in.

“We had money for our bare necessities and that’s it,” Ivey said. “Hotel money just wasn’t in the budget.”

Watch the video for more of the touching story:

Intel

This weapons kit makes dumb bombs smart

Israel’s SPICE (Smart, Precise Impact, Cost-Effective) kit converts unguided bombs into precision-guided ones.


There’s no hiding from a SPICE enabled bomb, it will find you in the dark and chase you on the battlefield. The kit is highly precise in that it combines GPS and EO technology. The GPS side enables the bomb to engage camouflaged or hidden targets in all weather conditions by inputting coordinates. On the other hand, the EO side provides the flexibility of remote control guidance to engage relocatable targets.

With 12 control surfaces on three groups (fore, mid-body and tail), the kit provides a glide range of about 60 kilometers (approx. 37 miles), turning any bomb into a true fire-and-forget weapon. With this much distance between the target, the striking aircraft is safe from short and medium range defense systems.

Watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GujLif0VZIg

ArmedForceUpdate, YouTube

Intel

11 facts about the legendary Uzi submachine gun

The Uzi is hands down the most famous submachine gun of all time. Besides the AK-47, it is one of history’s most recognizable firearms. It has been exported to over 90 countries around the world and used by military, law enforcement, criminals and Hollywood films.


Here are 11 things you probably didn’t know about the Uzi:

1. The Uzi was developed by Israeli Cpt. Uziel Gal (1924-2002) for an international competition to design a new submachine gun during the 1940s. Gal did not want the weapon to be named after him, but his request was ignored.

Uziel Gal. Image: Imgur

2. The first prototypes appeared in 1950.

 

3. The first mass-produced Uzi fired 600 rounds per minute and used a 9mm caliber bullet.

9mm Parabellum rounds. Image: Wikimedia

4. The IDF adopted the Uzi three years after the nation of Israel was created.

Israeli paratroopers armed with Uzis. Image: Wikimedia

5. The Uzi is highly reliable and surprisingly accurate when used appropriately (short bursts).

YouTube: American Heroes Channel

6. The original Uzi was made with a wooden stock.

An Uzi-armed Israeli on guard duty in the Negev in 1965. Image: Wikimedia

7. During the 1960s, the folding metal stock replaced the wooden stock.

Uzi, stock extended. Image: Wikimedia

8. The original manufacturer of the Uzi was Israel Military Industries (IMI) Ltd. In 2005, the Israeli government privatized the small arms division and christened the new company Israel Weapon Industries (IWI) Ltd.

Image: Israel Military Industries

9. IMI made 3 Uzi variants:

•Uzi

•Mini Uzi

•Micro Uzi

10. With over 2 million sold, almost every law enforcement agency or military has adopted it at some point. Here’s one in action during 1981’s assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

President Reagan assassination attempt. Image: Wikimedia

11. The newest generation of the submachine gun is the Uzi Pro.

Image: Israel Weapon Industries

Watch:

American Heroes Channel

Intel

Here’s the way-funnier version of what the Marine PFT is really like

For a test you know all the answers to that never changes, the PFT (Physical Fitness Test) is always a mixed bag of results. Let’s admit it, the only people who worry about the PFT are those that only work out so they can pass the PFT.


The boys at Terminal Boots made this hilarious video about the typical Marine PFT and nailed the experience for all the troops in all service branches. Sure, PFT requirements vary from service branch to service branch but the human element is practically the same.

Case in point comes from Deacon who’s puking his guts out at the beginning of the video. Like Deacon, there’s always that person who’s hungover or drunk from the night before because they had extra time off — probably because leadership let them off early so they can be rested prior to the PFT.

Watch (profanity warning):

NOW: Here’s a hilarious look at what life is like for Marines on a Navy ship

OR: Here’s 5 of the funniest boot camp stories we’ve ever heard