Check out the Thunderbird's stunning photo shoot - We Are The Mighty
MIGHTY CULTURE

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

The Frontiers and Flight air show was held at McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas in early September 2018. The crowd was treated to demonstrations of 70 military and civilian aircraft, including B-2 stealth bombers, A-10 Warthogs, KC-135 Stratotankers, and more.

The air show also included a demonstration of six F-16 Thunderbirds.

After the show, the Thunderbirds flew back home to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, soaring over Lake Powell reservoir near the Grand Canyon in Arizona along the way.

And the pictures are stunning.

Check them out below.


Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

The Thunderbirds fly over the Glen Canyon Dam in Lake Powell on Sept. 10, 2018.

(US Air Force photo)

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

Thunderbirds fly in formation over Lake Powell on Sept. 10, 2018.

(US Air Force photo)

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

Thunderbirds soar over Lake Powell on Sept. 10, 2018.

(US Air Force photo)

The squadron flies F-16Cs and F-16Ds with unique red, white and blue paint jobs.

Read more about the specifications of F-16Cs and F-16Ds here

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

Thunderbirds leave contrails behind while flying over Lake Powell on Sept. 10, 2018.

(US Air Force photo)

But when the Thunderbirds were first activated, they flew F-84s. The squadron then switched to F-100s, and then several others, before adopting the F-16 in 1992.

More specifically, the Thunderbirds first flew F-84F Thunder jets, which were combat-fighter bombers that flew missions during the Korean War.

F-100 Super Sabres, which the Thunderbirds switched to in 1956, were the world’s first supersonic fighter jets.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

Thunderbirds fly over a river in Lake Powell on Sept. 10, 2018.

(US Air Force photo)

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

US Air Force Thunderbirds conduct a photo op over Lake Powell while returning from McConnell Air Force Base, Sept. 10, 2018.

(US Air Force photo)

Thunderbird demonstrations involve about 30 different maneuvers using one or more F-16s.

Read more about their maneuvers here.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

Thunderbirds fly in delta formation over Lake Powell on Sept. 10, 2018.

(US Air Force photo)

They also fly in several different formations, including the delta formation below.

This article originally appeared on Business Insider. Follow @BusinessInsider on Twitter.

MIGHTY TACTICAL

The F-35 can now act as the eyes of the fleet

The F-35 Lightning II, designed to be a stealthy sensor platform that can fly and fight nearly anywhere in the world, can now feed its targeting data back to Navy ships, allowing the task force to engage dozens of targets without the F-35 having to fire its own weapons and break stealth.


Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

A Marine Corps F-35B Lightning II takes off from the HMS Queen Elizabeth on October 9, 2018, with inert GBU-12 Paveway II laser-guided bombs.

The change comes thanks to an upgrade on the ship side, not on the Lightning II. Basically, the Navy has a communications system known as the Ship Self Defense System. SSDS is typically built into carrier strike groups and the larger amphibious ships, like Landing Helicopter Assault and Landing Helicopter Dock ships.

So, basically anything that an F-35 can take off from. But now, the SSDS on the USS Wasp can accept communications from the F-35’s Link 16 Digital Air Control. This allows the F-35 to directly feed its sensor data into the fleet’s communications.

The most important application of this capability is that commanders can now see what the Lightning II sees and order surface ships to engage targets with missiles, other aircraft, or even naval artillery if it’s in range.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

The amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) steams through the Mediterranean Sea.

(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Ryan G. Coleman)

This will be a huge boost for the F-35 in a war. F-35s and F-22 Raptors can’t carry many missiles and bombs while remaining stealthy, and firing their weapons can give away their positions.

Additionally, the fleet has many more missiles than the planes can carry — and that can be key during a complex fight. If Marines are landing ashore, they don’t want to hear that their air support is running low on missiles. They want to hear that there’s an endless rain of effects coming their way, and that all of them are going to be digitally targeted against the most dangerous threats.

While the digital communications upgrade is currently only placed on the USS Wasp, the rest of the carrier and LHA/LHD groups will receive it in the near future.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Michael Lippert, test pilot with the F-35 Pax River Integrated Test Force, continues First of Class Flight Trials (Fixed Wing) developmental test flights aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth on Sept. 30, 2018.

(U.S. Navy photo by Dane Wiedmann)

In addition to passing targeting data, the F-35 sends back its status information, like fuel and weapon inventories, while receiving information from the mission commander, like assignment information.

The F-35 has been America’s single-most expensive weapons system in history, but senior generals have insisted for years that the troubled program would be worth it when it came to fruition. As setbacks, costs, and technological failures mounted, it seemed like the platform would never live up to its hype. And that would’ve been a huge deal since the plane is expected to fly until 2070 and to cost id=”listicle-2616611399″.5 trillion over the program’s lifetime.

But the Thunderbolt II has matured in the last few years, and breakthroughs like this one will continue to improve the F-35’s public image.

MIGHTY TRENDING

These are the big takeaways from the latest Space Force press conference

What started as wishful thinking by a bunch of vets hoping to one day become space shuttle door gunners is starting to take shape as the next steps in establishing a Space Force are underway.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Vice President Mike Pence held a conference at the Pentagon on Aug 9 to discuss the latest plans and updates on the creation of the United States Space Force. To clear some of the fog surrounding it, it’s not about sending armed troops into space nor is it an over-the-top plan to fight aliens.

There is a real and current strategic advantage in using space to aid with Earthly conflicts through satellites operations and missile defense — both of which would fall under the purview of the new Space Force.


Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

Vice President Mike Pence has championed our current space commands within the Air Force and the Navy.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dennis Hoffman)

Secretary Mattis opened up the briefing and announced that the Pentagon will release its latest space report to Congress, reinforcing the specifics on how they will move forward. He then welcomed Vice President Pence to take the podium.

Vice President Pence reiterated both the desire to push mankind back into space exploration and to utilize space for the rapid advancement of technology. He likened the establishment of the Space Force to that of the Air Force when it was first created.

“In 1939, at the start of the second World War, the U.S. Army Air Corps was still a fledgling organization… By 1945, the American military had nearly 30 times the number of planes and 85 times the number of pilots and support crews compared to just six years earlier and our allies emerged victorious from WWII because of the strength of our armed forces and because our armed forces adapted to meet the emerging threats of the day,” said Vice President Mike Pence.
Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

Once you realize just how many U.S. satellites are in space, how little protection they have, and just how dependent our society is on their safety… you’ll stop thinking of the Space Force as a joke branch.

(Air Force illustration)

Our current military does, in fact, have a space command and has had one for decades. Expanding the space command into a full branch would give the tens of thousands of troops and civilian contractors currently working on the space mission far greater spending to continue and expand upon the responsibilities of the domain.

Founding the Space Force will firmly establish America’s leadership in space. In President Trump’s own words,

“It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space. And so we will.”

One of the first technologies announced was the fielding of a new generation of jam-resistant GPS and communication satellites. This also comes along with a new missile defense satellite that is “smaller, tougher, and more maneuverable than ever before.”

The need for dominance over space is growing by the day. China launched a missile that tracked and destroyed a test satellite in 2007. Russia has been designing an airborne laser that is said to disrupt satellites and claim to be creating missiles that could be launched mid-flight to destroy satellites. Both have claimed to have ability to move their satellites closer to our own — which could pose an unprecedented new danger.

Many more details about the new branch’s establishment will come soon as we move forward towards its eventual creation with a possible date set for 2020.

MIGHTY TRENDING

The Navy may have cracked the Malaria vaccine

Capt. Judith Epstein, clinical director, Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) Malaria Department, presented findings on the malaria candidate vaccine, PfSPZ Vaccine, at the 2018 Military Health System Research Symposium (MHSRS), Aug. 22, 2018.

During the breakout session called “What’s New in Infectious Disease Research in the Tropics,” Epstein gave an update on NMRC’s work with PfSPZ Vaccine, a whole organism vaccine comprised of aseptic, purified, radiation-attenuated, non-replicating, cryopreserved sporozoites. Sporozoites (SPZ) are one of the stages of the malaria parasite, which find their way to the liver after inoculation.


According to Epstein, the parasites induce a protective immune response without making copies of themselves. In other words, the weakened parasites do not replicate or get into the bloodstream, and thus do not lead to infection or disease.

“The studies on PfSPZ Vaccine are important because they bring us closer to having a malaria vaccine to prevent infection and disease in military personnel deployed to malaria-endemic regions as well as vulnerable populations residing in malaria-endemic regions,” said Epstein. “Malaria has consistently been ranked as the number one infectious disease threat facing the military, and the burden of malaria remains incredibly high worldwide.”

Epstein was the NMRC principal investigator (PI) on two PfSPZ Vaccine trials, published in Sciencein 2011 and the Journal of Clinical Investigation in 2017, respectively. The former trial was conducted in collaboration with the Center for Vaccine Development (CVD) at the University of Maryland in Baltimore (UMB); both trials were conducted in collaboration with Sanaria Inc. and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR).

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Harold Sylvester, assigned to Naval Medical Research Center Asia (NMRCA), sets and baits mosquito traps in Singapore. NMRCA is conducting research project to study the different populations of mosquitos in Singapore and their ability to transmit diseases.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jay C. Pugh)

In mid-2017, Epstein also became the PI for the “Warfighter 2 Trial”, conducted between 2016 and 2017. The trial was conducted at NMRC and CVD-UMB. Thirty subjects were immunized at each site. The participants had their screening visits, immunizations, and follow-up appointments at the NMRC Clinical Trials Center (CTC) in Bethesda, Maryland. Subjects were immunized with PfSPZ Vaccine and then, along with control subjects, underwent controlled human malaria infection by exposure to five bites from malaria-infected mosquitoes. Subjects were then followed closely to determine whether or not they developed malaria through the evaluation of blood smears and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Infection was treated immediately with anti-malarial medication.

“In all trials, the vaccine has been demonstrated to have a very good safety and tolerability profile and has also been easy to administer,” Epstein said. “Our focus now is to enhance the efficacy and practical use of the vaccine.” Two of the most important parameters for malaria vaccine development are duration of protection and protection against non-vaccine strains.

In the “Warfighter 2” trial, NMRC researchers were able to demonstrate vaccine efficacy of 40 percent against a non-vaccine strain of malaria when assessed 12 weeks after the final injection, a marked improvement from the previous trials.

As the DoD’s premier scientific meeting, MHSRS helps to facilitate the exchange of information between almost 3,000 attendees from around the world on health care topics relevant to the warfighter. This year’s meeting was held at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center, Aug. 20 – 23, 2018, Kissimmee, Florida, and focused on medical innovation as a key factor in operational and mission readiness.

NMRC’s eight laboratories are engaged in a broad spectrum of activity from basic science in the laboratory to field studies at sites in austere and remote areas of the world to operational environments. In support of the Navy, Marine Corps, and joint U.S. warfighters, researchers study infectious diseases; biological warfare detection and defense; combat casualty care; environmental health concerns; aerospace and undersea medicine; medical modeling, simulation and operational mission support; and epidemiology and behavioral sciences.

NMRC and the laboratories deliver high-value, high-impact research products to support and protect today’s deployed warfighters. At the same time researchers are focused on the readiness and well-being of future forces.

This article originally appeared on the United States Navy. Follow @USNavy on Twitter.

popular

How machine guns on World War I biplanes never hit the propeller

There was a lot of new technology brought to the battlefield during World War I. Two of those were used in tandem – and somehow managed to perfectly compliment each other. It was the fighter plane and the machine gun, mounted perfectly for the pilot’s use, without shooting up the propeller that kept the bird aloft.


Was it the gun that was designed to fire through the propeller or the propeller designed to be used with the machine gun? Yes.

The system worked because of its synchronization gear which kept the gun from firing when the propeller would be hit by the bullet. While airborne the prop would actually be spinning five times as fast as the weapon could fire, so there was little margin of error. The problem was solved by the addition of a gear-like disc on the propeller that would only allow the gun to fire in between the blades’ rotation.

Often called an “interrupter” the disc did not actually interrupt the firing of the weapon, it merely allowed it to fire semiautomatically instead of at an even pace. When the prop spun around to a certain position, it would allow the weapon’s firing mechanism to fully cycle and fire a round. Usually, when the round was supposed to be interrupted, the weapon was actually just in the process of cycling.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot
Synchronization gear was also needed for later planes, such as the German Me-109 fighter, seen here in World War II.

 

So pulling the trigger would essentially connect the weapon to the propeller, and the prop would actually be firing the gun. Letting the trigger go would disconnect the weapon from the propeller.

Later versions, such as the Kauper interrupter used on the Sopwith Camel, allowed for multiple machine guns at different rates of fire. The interrupter was a welcome change from the early days of combat aviation, where props were sometimes metal plated just in case mechanically uncoordinated rounds hit the propeller, so the bullet would ricochet.

MIGHTY CULTURE

The 13 funniest military memes for the week of March 20

(Meme via Smokepit Fairytales)

It’s time to be real. The world isn’t looking so great at the moment. That’s just the cold hard reality. The coronavirus is spreading and everyone’s losing their minds. But there’s always a bright side to everything. Us veterans should already understand exactly what to do.

Stuck in your house without any way to make money? That’s just like a 45 & 45. Having to make do with just what little bit of toilet paper you had before the panic hoarding? Time to conserve like you’re in the field. Bored out of your mind with absolutely nothing to do? Tell yourself you’re going to start doing online classes before procrastinating to go play video games!

And hey! Another bright side is, from what I’ve seen, people are focusing on buying out all of the foods and leaving all of the beer and liquor! So, just kick back, enjoy your unofficial Quarters slip, and get down on some much-needed you time until this all blows over in… Oh… Eight weeks? Sh*t…


Anyway, here’s another dose of your regularly scheduled memes – delivered to you from a “Socially distant” appropriate distance.[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FHvDYL4BquK3qRR2UwpO5n40evb1nyE0OylUsFQ_p6pHgq22M9-AmiSxQljk6ZowiZu3phEX7kmZGKA7AUy6QzhZ6UPzYVvRluCdp4_TK&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com&s=765&h=34b3bcbb7e7c5d344d0f4f80b3583d6e4e2a3beed72c4b5ab2fe8db376fddc73&size=980x&c=1819453376 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FHvDYL4BquK3qRR2UwpO5n40evb1nyE0OylUsFQ_p6pHgq22M9-AmiSxQljk6ZowiZu3phEX7kmZGKA7AUy6QzhZ6UPzYVvRluCdp4_TK%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh3.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D765%26h%3D34b3bcbb7e7c5d344d0f4f80b3583d6e4e2a3beed72c4b5ab2fe8db376fddc73%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1819453376%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Army as F*ck)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FvM46hZkSc8qAbRsWheRh8cUz900mPTa2xfO-NeXTtptNM57WbKWzXFCquB5U0iXVaU_SDZjB8BjnZmGsrL1SlRxVsscp9y3Pywb2yR6ftQ7OHRYPjusDj6cePbFzkbxOXgRlbdlIji0bvdeWEw&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=10&h=e9a040819a9211e1f03f1ed6d266c762c777273933952c2441a07e6fd9dfb6dc&size=980x&c=2743295826 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FvM46hZkSc8qAbRsWheRh8cUz900mPTa2xfO-NeXTtptNM57WbKWzXFCquB5U0iXVaU_SDZjB8BjnZmGsrL1SlRxVsscp9y3Pywb2yR6ftQ7OHRYPjusDj6cePbFzkbxOXgRlbdlIji0bvdeWEw%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D10%26h%3De9a040819a9211e1f03f1ed6d266c762c777273933952c2441a07e6fd9dfb6dc%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2743295826%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Smokepit Fairytales)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Frhf3EWB42V7zzfK6GSN05W1YzMGVVB7Sl05TaAroEWCIO357hI1VgPD5Rhaj_UqXOAjI2cGuDwC1DenE-yKWiaambRcFVEEX4p-Y4fxOj_1_-r8a89tuL2ACd2HbM53h52ec5zYRQIEkd04CjA&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=1000&h=80cf4e3bd58fe515ec848a4578450c7dadfbbcd5d2e43be7dac1ccc2b10b2824&size=980x&c=3829327798 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Frhf3EWB42V7zzfK6GSN05W1YzMGVVB7Sl05TaAroEWCIO357hI1VgPD5Rhaj_UqXOAjI2cGuDwC1DenE-yKWiaambRcFVEEX4p-Y4fxOj_1_-r8a89tuL2ACd2HbM53h52ec5zYRQIEkd04CjA%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D1000%26h%3D80cf4e3bd58fe515ec848a4578450c7dadfbbcd5d2e43be7dac1ccc2b10b2824%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3829327798%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via The Salty Soldier)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FuJVxdBM_inXh4w3zyIoSFfnlI4Kyr6sXl-GgmW1_CX3XB_6fndka3T14whSc1D70W0kOaAEjO_M0Ptk4wI-UZ0ayh-d56zo7zFZ-EQNYKPJNUSN2ncRv6zB8BtbRBAXAlvfczV6W33-nZ6PSoA&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=674&h=1bce787d9d3203a1b9925ef5db775701bb3d1838b92d35a2a945f19e931dd846&size=980x&c=3481263278 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FuJVxdBM_inXh4w3zyIoSFfnlI4Kyr6sXl-GgmW1_CX3XB_6fndka3T14whSc1D70W0kOaAEjO_M0Ptk4wI-UZ0ayh-d56zo7zFZ-EQNYKPJNUSN2ncRv6zB8BtbRBAXAlvfczV6W33-nZ6PSoA%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D674%26h%3D1bce787d9d3203a1b9925ef5db775701bb3d1838b92d35a2a945f19e931dd846%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3481263278%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via US Army WTF Moments Memes)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Fhce1gUPbbc_6jK2bMRytSu_D1W0rdIf1UjeAJxDquApacQ-9Wsr43SW2lpEVQ7fs64UI_iNqHcdQXfWV2YwNl8va_NESmK0ft9QrJTei&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com&s=507&h=afd4439313bd2a0a8032151ceeb376f327d4841b2541c06f2c7f5bb4655fb05b&size=980x&c=3752483614 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Fhce1gUPbbc_6jK2bMRytSu_D1W0rdIf1UjeAJxDquApacQ-9Wsr43SW2lpEVQ7fs64UI_iNqHcdQXfWV2YwNl8va_NESmK0ft9QrJTei%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh3.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D507%26h%3Dafd4439313bd2a0a8032151ceeb376f327d4841b2541c06f2c7f5bb4655fb05b%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3752483614%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Call for Fire)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F-OLrkSgao-1ldVgnejQnXuinq9c2E9nPuiTxFpDrpYxg-3bZy-aCHGBBodZC-rYuoZXC9htEISJtcjJqstqAIo8Jg-aJOdA2BEVwpgmkjGxDiOGYq7RYZrxQc3de4wyO9nDbmOBbVmAXWiONmw&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=169&h=a1a4bc64d50ea179e2594476004b93f038ca03e0f77979526879a641528b2d66&size=980x&c=33900272 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F-OLrkSgao-1ldVgnejQnXuinq9c2E9nPuiTxFpDrpYxg-3bZy-aCHGBBodZC-rYuoZXC9htEISJtcjJqstqAIo8Jg-aJOdA2BEVwpgmkjGxDiOGYq7RYZrxQc3de4wyO9nDbmOBbVmAXWiONmw%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D169%26h%3Da1a4bc64d50ea179e2594476004b93f038ca03e0f77979526879a641528b2d66%26size%3D980x%26c%3D33900272%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Not CID)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FWYawr5nHNppLrPEgLeZJmCiIOQ4pKPkpTomur7psfqzeYjEexHtqTJQ6iuV5GGvILmh9lv6406E1z3F78eha49vF0c_K1Gkr6NIWwisj&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=809&h=62fd738a649904b3e84151b2f1ac84eb489adf9bda3ee724fcb51ff6198f7650&size=980x&c=3990062764 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FWYawr5nHNppLrPEgLeZJmCiIOQ4pKPkpTomur7psfqzeYjEexHtqTJQ6iuV5GGvILmh9lv6406E1z3F78eha49vF0c_K1Gkr6NIWwisj%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D809%26h%3D62fd738a649904b3e84151b2f1ac84eb489adf9bda3ee724fcb51ff6198f7650%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3990062764%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Infantry Follow Me)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FV7J93V1Hxgq3THXjdzSlFDeWFnTuhMR41eUpSGZNBidvIhVsRcV5loImlwa3-ajfDLjIo4sNrM7r2bfm9e5Q0BtoUDzh9LJNfGkL0tH9qasQr9c3GWzt7fnifHTONTPmuyNb2Q32VQviKmlgIg&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh4.googleusercontent.com&s=950&h=1dda1c51a73a25ed817e86eba25f7316a99f6c59af87185a531b7afb73ad33ee&size=980x&c=3590051098 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FV7J93V1Hxgq3THXjdzSlFDeWFnTuhMR41eUpSGZNBidvIhVsRcV5loImlwa3-ajfDLjIo4sNrM7r2bfm9e5Q0BtoUDzh9LJNfGkL0tH9qasQr9c3GWzt7fnifHTONTPmuyNb2Q32VQviKmlgIg%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh4.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D950%26h%3D1dda1c51a73a25ed817e86eba25f7316a99f6c59af87185a531b7afb73ad33ee%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3590051098%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Hooah My Ass Off)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2F2T87Ln3WM-D_YLja9XWYsv1ZVNX8zlnhoABCoiXJ1OvpKXN0mdFwaDumlDsZ1_Pqo0uBKwZQ-rn3MjoYanJ24EObQKGrwywmGvHus9_hLdiqubiwFJnTnjpewKI200DU5UMA6P_42doKi1Htlw&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=46&h=d45113e1f6508473d6778ba4bfcd23b37435144ea167624d568c985c4f10a409&size=980x&c=725525187 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252F2T87Ln3WM-D_YLja9XWYsv1ZVNX8zlnhoABCoiXJ1OvpKXN0mdFwaDumlDsZ1_Pqo0uBKwZQ-rn3MjoYanJ24EObQKGrwywmGvHus9_hLdiqubiwFJnTnjpewKI200DU5UMA6P_42doKi1Htlw%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D46%26h%3Dd45113e1f6508473d6778ba4bfcd23b37435144ea167624d568c985c4f10a409%26size%3D980x%26c%3D725525187%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Coast Guard Memes)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FD_twYa6aSG4ObKHe6-iV3U-KXO_fLuzfmDXFhKFLfM8ToZc4fchjht6SLOKQYRdo3DygHK34X9QHhpN5Qp_9zGyTByii0m7yurXNyxPn&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=938&h=716ef1b01618eb20a03a3b1810de3b7020da82fcd1c31f613a763216dc017a03&size=980x&c=770316026 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FD_twYa6aSG4ObKHe6-iV3U-KXO_fLuzfmDXFhKFLfM8ToZc4fchjht6SLOKQYRdo3DygHK34X9QHhpN5Qp_9zGyTByii0m7yurXNyxPn%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D938%26h%3D716ef1b01618eb20a03a3b1810de3b7020da82fcd1c31f613a763216dc017a03%26size%3D980x%26c%3D770316026%22%7D” expand=1]

(Tweet via @Pop_Smoke7)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Fbbep69h6pgmlPDnVgt6TD-SW58WFRdElw9ffUr0-xHpICjfgbYJu3DI9QMOSLk6pMLQKzj4qCrqGvwF0ndUwJT2JcTZEeMGIRX5YPip_&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh3.googleusercontent.com&s=317&h=a6e5ddf527c147254ba10b41f9b6c6359e0a4b49a3f5287632011433ccbc3d65&size=980x&c=4145502671 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Fbbep69h6pgmlPDnVgt6TD-SW58WFRdElw9ffUr0-xHpICjfgbYJu3DI9QMOSLk6pMLQKzj4qCrqGvwF0ndUwJT2JcTZEeMGIRX5YPip_%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh3.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D317%26h%3Da6e5ddf527c147254ba10b41f9b6c6359e0a4b49a3f5287632011433ccbc3d65%26size%3D980x%26c%3D4145502671%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Decelerate Your Life)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FmP3dfte0ZjdJf6kshz62Z0TIo9iMWcMUpRtqU4rWzglNNixWiYbN9rLl61fVHq60GRED7ke29egWEmC-1uvxtSthhfCHbU_dv9tg-ItyBv7AOSx9fhk5PnlE4369zIPttm72zB34JASgUVoOsQ&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com&s=496&h=ecb09a20839d000480fb7d2c3fad597c60dbe344045d953d7d441e6748a23d29&size=980x&c=3935814470 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FmP3dfte0ZjdJf6kshz62Z0TIo9iMWcMUpRtqU4rWzglNNixWiYbN9rLl61fVHq60GRED7ke29egWEmC-1uvxtSthhfCHbU_dv9tg-ItyBv7AOSx9fhk5PnlE4369zIPttm72zB34JASgUVoOsQ%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh5.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D496%26h%3Decb09a20839d000480fb7d2c3fad597c60dbe344045d953d7d441e6748a23d29%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3935814470%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Air Force Nation Humor)

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2FrOM4yRI-8MsKA40FdFLIKSJgHrdKBWOLbsQuNZNtifQxixiwZuFWsOnq9Cglm50q87j_NQV2jXkaOjG9NJE1YwB7FxYgVml9HaKdZ7RV7a_zNx09F-pcCVJC_tm8SigJ1h_V8DJONPmgQi0F0A&ho=https%3A%2F%2Flh6.googleusercontent.com&s=890&h=60d36e5e2a7b4435f8b79f42e429ad2e3d86dbc15a59ed302c12010cb79d263f&size=980x&c=1195197249 crop_info=”%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252FrOM4yRI-8MsKA40FdFLIKSJgHrdKBWOLbsQuNZNtifQxixiwZuFWsOnq9Cglm50q87j_NQV2jXkaOjG9NJE1YwB7FxYgVml9HaKdZ7RV7a_zNx09F-pcCVJC_tm8SigJ1h_V8DJONPmgQi0F0A%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Flh6.googleusercontent.com%26s%3D890%26h%3D60d36e5e2a7b4435f8b79f42e429ad2e3d86dbc15a59ed302c12010cb79d263f%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1195197249%22%7D” expand=1]

(Meme via Valhalla Wear)

MIGHTY HISTORY

How the Navy tried to prevent accidents 60 years ago

For a long time, the Navy has been trying to reduce the frequency of accidents — and it’s easy to see why. The recent collisions involving the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS John S. McCain (DDG 56) and USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) left 17 sailors dead, many others hurt, and both destroyers out of action for months. Other safety mishaps have been less costly, but each accident takes time and effort to clean up — ultimately taking time and effort away from other, more important things, like fighting the enemy.

For years, the Navy put forth the Friday Funnies, which used humor (most of the time) to push sailors to be careful, often using the sailors involved in accidents and mishaps as the butt of the joke pour encourager les autres — to help others learn from their mistakes. If you didn’t want to be made fun of in the bulletin, well, you knew what not to do.


One area in which things can quickly turn fatal is within aviation. When things go wrong on a plane or when somebody messes up, crashes can happen, and those tend to be deadly. So, not surprisingly, the Navy created safety bulletins that focused on the flight line. The messages were clear and designed to prevent simple (but costly) mistakes, like forgetting to put the landing gear down, which happened to both a C-17 crew in 2009 and an A-4 Skyhawk flown by a contractor in 2015.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

The 1966 fire on USS Oriskany (CV 34) was started when a flare accidentally ignited.

(US Navy)

But accidents don’t just happen in the air. The ground (or the carrier) is also a high-risk environment. There were huge fires on the carriers USS Oriskany (CV 34), USS Forrestal (CV 59), and USS Enterprise (CVN 65) during the Vietnam War that collectively claimed the lives of 206 sailors.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

Some accidents are through error – like a C-17 crew forgetting to make sure the landing gear is down.

(USAF)

Even if nobody gets hurt, accidents can lead to damaging valuable combat planes. These days, when an F-35 costs about 0 million, nobody wants that to happen.

See how the Navy taught sailors to avoid accidents 60 years ago in the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyuJ8rUefc8

www.youtube.com

popular

This ‘Whale’ saved 700 planes during the Vietnam War

When armchair historians discuss naval aviation during the Vietnam War, the focus usually turns to the F-4 Phantom. That’s the multi-service plane flown by the Navy’s only aces of the war — Randall “Duke” Cunningham and Willie Driscoll.


And of course there’s the A-6 Intruder, made famous in the novel and movie “Flight of the Intruder.”

One plane, though, probably deserves more attention than it’s earned.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot
The RA-3B Skywarrior decked out in camouflage and displaying its various reconnaissance package options. (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

That plane is the A-3 Skywarrior – often called the “Whale” due to its size. It certainly was big – more than 76 feet long, and with a 72-foot wingspan and a maximum takeoff weight of 82,000 pounds.

The A-3 had a range of 2,100 miles and could carry 12,800 pounds of payload.

While the Skywarrior did some bombing missions early on, it shined in the electronic warfare and tanker missions. The Navy turned 85 planes into KA-3B tankers, and 34 were also given jamming pods to become the EKA-3B.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot
The KA-3B could carry a lot of gas. (Photo from Wikimedia)

These planes not only could pass a lot of gas to the planes in a carrier’s air wing, they helped to jam enemy radars, blinding them to an incoming attack until it was too late.

Other Skywarrior variants included the RA-3B reconnaissance plane, the ERA-3B electronic aggressor platform, and the EA-3B electronic intelligence version.

As a tanker, the KA-3B and EKA-3B didn’t just enable planes to strike deeper into North Vietnam. These tankers also gave planes gas to get back home – in some cases after suffering serious damage. Aviation historian Joe Baugher noted that as many as 700 Navy and Marine Corps planes may have been saved by the Whale’s tanker capabilities.

That statistic might be the most important. When an EB-66E bomber was shot down during the Easter Offensive of 1972, it resulted in a massive rescue effort to retrieve the lone survivor, Lieutenant Colonel Iceal “Gene” Hambleton, that resulted in the loss of five aircraft, with 11 Americans killed in action and two more captured.

The last A-3 variants, EA-3Bs, managed to see action during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 with VQ-2 before they were retired. E-3 airframes, though, flew in private service as RD for avionics until 2011.

Not bad for a plane that first flew in 1952!


Feature image: Wikimedia Commons

popular

Watch how sand from Omaha Beach brightens veterans’ tombstones

On the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA) shared a video on Twitter of a remarkable ceremony. “The letters on the white crosses almost disappear in the brightness of the stone, so a soldier fills the indentations with sand from Omaha Beach to bring the name forward.”

It’s a quiet practice that adds to the many rituals that honor service members, including leaving coins on gravestones, placing wreaths on graves during winter holidays, or setting the American flag at graves for Memorial Day.

This video is particularly special to watch, as it clearly shows how effective the process is:


In the video, the soldier conjures the name of William A. Richards, a fallen World War II veteran, killed in 1944, with sand from Omaha Beach, one of the D-Day invasion sites. D-Day marked the turning of the war in Europe, where millions and millions of Allied service members perished.

Also read: Hero medic remembers what it was like to land on Omaha Beach

Others began to respond to the tweet with their own experiences witnessing the ceremony, including the graves of their relatives. The sands from Normandy beaches are sent to military cemeteries throughout Europe. In the Netherlands American Cemetery, the graves of American service members have been adopted by Dutch families, who research the lives of the fallen and honor their graves with flowers.

 

For so many, these rituals are powerful reminders of the cost of freedom. The sanctity of a military funeral is one that is shared across the country — and, in the case of the world wars, across the globe. It can be easy for many Americans to feel separated, through both time and distance, from the horrors of World War I and World War II; but for our allies in Europe, the wars were fought in their own backyard.

The sands of Omaha Beach bring forth the names of those who died fighting against Nazi Germany and the enemies of freedom, lest we ever forget.

MIGHTY MILSPOUSE

New Eisenhower Memorial is ‘the best piece of evidence America works’

“Humility must always be the portion of any man who receives acclaim earned in the blood of his followers and the sacrifices of his friends.”

Inscribed on the new monument in the four-acre park at the base of Capitol Hill, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s words capture his legacy as General of the Army and 34th President of the United States.


Eisenhower’s speech to British Parliament in June 1945 expressed his profound gratitude for those who fought during WWII. The excerpt from his Guildhall Address is one of several featured on the monument embodying Eisenhower and the principles guiding his accomplishments.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

Image courtesy of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission; Photograph by Alan Karchmer, Memorial design by Gehry Partners, LLP; Tapestry by Tomas Osinski; Sculpture by Sergey Eylanbekov; Inscriptions by Nick Benson

Retired Airforce Brig. Gen. Carl Reddel, Executive Director of the Eisenhower Memorial, explained the park is not only a tribute to Eisenhower, but reflects America. The monument is, “The best piece of evidence America works,” he said.

In addition to Eisenhower’s words engraved by Nicholas Waite, this sentiment comes to life in the overall design of world-renowned architect, Frank Gehry.

Within the park, three sets of bronze sculptures by Sergey Eylanbekov depict Eisenhower’s life, starting with him as a teenager. Born in 1890 and one of seven boys, Eisenhower grew up working hard on his family’s farm in Abilene, Kan.

Always proud of his hometown, Eisenhower’s humble beginnings encapsulate the quintessential American success story. Because of his background, “[Eisenhower] believed in the dignity of every human being,” Reddel explained.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

Image courtesy of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission; Memorial design by Gehry Partners, LLP; Tapestry by Tomas Osinski; Sculpture by Sergey Eylanbekov; Inscriptions by Nick Benson

A second group of sculptures honoring Eisenhower’s military service, depict him as Supreme Allied Commander of the Expeditionary Forces in Europe, June 1944. Reddel described how Eisenhower successfully led the Alliance in defeating the Nazis. He had an ability to build consensus, despite competing interests and personalities.

Reddel went in depth describing how, “Eisenhower’s talent for leadership, steel, cold analysis, and organizational skills” developed during his military career. After graduating from West Point in 1911, Eisenhower served in the continental U.S. during WWI, tutored by officers who fought in the Great War. They knew there would be a second world war, helping prepare Eisenhower for his critical role in history.

Reddel emphasized how Eisenhower’s modest upbringing influenced his interactions with troops as “he viewed each soldier as an individual.” The bronze sculpture of Eisenhower with the 101st Airborne Division before their jump into Normandy embodies this respect.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

Image courtesy of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission; Memorial design by Gehry Partners, LLP; Tapestry by Tomas Osinski; Sculpture by Sergey Eylanbekov; Inscriptions by Nick Benson

Eisenhower’s commitment to America and admiration for those serving continued as president. Reddel described how the poor physical condition of service members during the war shocked Eisenhower. Americans’ health had suffered during the Great Depression, spurring Eisenhower’s initiatives during his two terms in the White House.

The third set of statues illustrate this, with Eisenhower surrounded by military and civilian consultants—including an African American advisor. Again, a monument also displaying America’s growth, Eisenhower instituted social and political advancements.

He created the Interstate Highway System, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and enforced the end of segregation in the military, and in schools. In fact, Eisenhower used the 101st Airborne Division to implement integration and protect students in Little Rock, Ark.

Eisenhower had a “passionate faith in democracy” and though he was an intellectual, “Eisenhower was a doer,” Reddel explained.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

Image courtesy of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission; Memorial design by Gehry Partners, LLP; Tapestry by Tomas Osinski; Sculpture by Sergey Eylanbekov; Inscriptions by Nick Benson

As president, Eisenhower served during the Cold War with the Soviet Union, prompting his ongoing drive to protect America. He pushed for advances in technology, resulting in the creation of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NASA.

Eisenhower also successfully balanced security and liberty, asking his administration to remember, “What is best for America,” whenever disagreements arose, Reddel stated.

He added to Eisenhower’s list of accomplishments and noted, “Not one soldier died in combat during his presidency.” And, “He appointed more women to senior positions than any previous administration.

Located on 540 Independence Ave. SW, near the National Air and Space Museum, FAA, Health and Human Services, and Voice of America, the memorial’s setting is fitting, Reddel said.

And last, a prominent feature of the park, especially at night, is the tapestry by Tomas Osinski, framing the Department of Education building. The transparent stainless-steel tapestry illustrates the beaches of Normandy—during peacetime, representing Eisenhower’s legacy and that of the average GI.

The Eisenhower Memorial opened September 18, 2020.
popular

7 things all troops should know before becoming a sniper

For decades, snipers have been a dominating instrument of warfare striking fear in the heart of their enemies — scoring record kill shots from distances up to two miles away.


With Hollywood tapping into the lifestyle with such films as “American Sniper” and the “Sniper” franchise, many young troops get a misconception of what it’s like to be one.

So we asked a few veterans of the craft what would they want young troops to know before embarking on the intense journey to become a sniper. Here’s what they said:

1. It’s not like in the movies

Hollywood often showcases a sniper as a single-man force tracking down that perfect location to take that most concealed shot possible.

In modern day, scout snipers typically work in 4-8 man teams consisting of a shooter, spotter, radioman, and additional troops to provide security.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot
A Scout Sniper team from 3rd Battalion 5th Marines (Darkhorse) during cold weather training in Bridgeport, Ca. (Source: Mark Hamett)

2. Shooting is only a fraction of the job

A sniper needs to properly plan the mission, insert and quietly maneuver to a well-concealed firing location, stalk his prey, complete the math calculation before firing his weapon accordingly, then safely egress out.

A mission could last days.

3. Have mental conditioning

Being sniper isn’t just about being an excellent marksman — although that’s important. But when you’re in an operational status, you have to overcome many mental constraints like lack of sleep and sometimes limited rations. The teams typically only leave the wire with what supplies they can carry — and that’s it.

The teams are usually outnumbered by the enemy and must maintain discipline throughout the mission. If the sniper has a mental breakdown in the field, the mission could be lost.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot
(Wikimedia Commons)

4. Patience is a virtue

Making a mistake because you’re in a hurry is unacceptable and can get you killed. A sniper’s hyperactive moment could result in death.

5. The selection

Completing indoctrination doesn’t guarantee a spot in the platoon. Sniper teams look for the guy who is not only capable of firing that perfect shot but has an outgoing personality. Once a troop is selected, they will go on to the next phase of intense sniper training.

6. It’s constant training and learning

Battlefield tactics change and evolve based on the environment the shooter is facing. That said, a sniper team must be able to adapt and overcome any situation that presents itself.

If the wind keeps up or the sniper is forced to relocate, he will more than likely have to reconfigure his sight alignment within moments.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot
A U.S. Army sniper using a Barrett M82. (Wikimedia Commons)

7. It’s not a way out of the infantry

Young troops tend to believe that going through the sniper pipeline is an easy way out of the grunt lifestyle. To outsiders, life in the scout sniper platoons can appear more glamorous because of the modernized gear they train with and operate.

The truth is, that’s just additional heavy gear they must haul during their missions.


Feature image: U.S. Army photo

Military Life

4 of the worst things about training in ‘Mojave Viper’

Mock IEDs attacks, fire and maneuvering drills, and scrambled medical evacuations are just a few exercises Marines and sailors run while training at Mojave Viper. “The Viper” takes place in Twentynine Palms, California, the largest training base of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Although each scenario the Marines encounter is played out under strict supervision, it’s considered the closest thing to war a young infantryman are exposed to before facing the real enemy. The training takes place in a desert landscape that closely resembles the environment troops will meet in Afghanistan — and it sucks.


It’s f*cking filthy

Infantry Marines and sailors from various bases show up to Camp Wilson, where their desert training will take place. 99.9 percent of the time, the Marines occupy the K-spans located on the grounds. Those K-spans are rarely cleaned before the incoming troops arrive, which causes problems.

Plus, since you’re training in an open-desert landscape, the wind will blow all types of viruses and bacteria about. This, in conjunction with already-dirty living conditions, causes troops to come down with all kinds of illness, like pink-eye and a variety of sniffles. Keep your mouth closed and your eyes covered whenever possible.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

Cpl. Dwight Jackson, a working dog handler with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force, cools off his dog, Hugo while training in Twentypalms, Calif.

The summer heat

If you’re unlucky, you’ll be sent to Mojave Viper during the late spring and early summer months. You better start getting ready for the heat.

Not only is it freakin’ hot in the direct sunlight, but the blazing heat is made even worse by training in your full PPE gear. Welcome to hell!

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

Lance Cpl. Charles Wohlers, 1st LE Gunner, Marine Wing Support Squadron 371, prepares his gear for the cold wear before the Motorized Fire and Movement Exercise exercise on range 114, at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif.

(Photo by Pfc. William Chockey)

The cold nights

If you think the days are bad, just wait until the sun goes down and the temperatures drop. Hell has just frozen over.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot

Lance Cpl. Daniel Breneiser, right, gets vaccinated against smallpox by Hospital Corpsman Nathan Stallfus

(Photo by MC1 Nathanael Miller)

Showering in a pool of smallpox

While stationed in the camp, most troops receive a smallpox vaccination on their upper arm. This vaccination creates a small blister which takes a few weeks to heal and may leave a scar. However, during that healing period, troops still have to shower to maintain proper hygiene.

As you shower, water will run over the blister and onto the floor. When multiple troops shower at the same time, the plumbing usually gets backed up, essentially creating a nasty pool of smallpox-laden backflow. Great.

Articles

Joe Galloway of ‘We Were Soldiers’ fame passed away at 79

Joe Galloway is best known for his coverage of the Vietnam War. Embedded with the 1st Cavalry Division, he was present at the first major battle between the U.S. Army and the People’s Army of Vietnam. His experience at Ia Drang served as the basis of his book “We Were Soldiers Once…And Young.” On August 18, 2021, Galloway passed away at the age of 79.

A native of Refugio, Texas, Galloway got his start in the news industry in Texas and Kansas. While working for United Press International, he was sent to Vietnam to cover the development of the war in 1965.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot
The Battle of Ia Drang was the first large scale helicopter air assault (U.S. Army)

Galloway was embedded with the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division. When the unit engaged with PAVN forces at the Battle of Ia Drang on November 14, Galloway caught a Huey to cover the engagement. During the battle, Galloway met the commander of 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, Lt. Col. Harold ‘Hal’ Moore. The two men would become close friends as a result of their shared experience. Moore would rise to the rank of Lt. Gen. and co-authored “We Were Soldiers Once…And Young” with Galloway.

The Battle of Ia Drang was a bloody one that lasted six days. Galloway himself recalled it as the “biggest battle of Vietnam, the bloodiest battle of Vietnam.” The fighting was so intense that he was forced to take part in it despite being a reporter. Galloway took up arms against the enemy to save himself and the soldiers around him.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot
Galloway in Vietnam in 1965 (The Vietnam War Summit)

Under heavy enemy fire, he even carried a badly wounded soldier to safety. “People died all around me. I had their blood on my hands. I carried dying boys. I carried ammo. I carried water,” Galloway recounted of the battle. “And I carried a rifle, and I made use of it.” For his actions at Ia Drang, Galloway was awarded the Bronze Star with V device for valor in 1998. He is the only civilian to receive a medal for valor from the Army during the Vietnam War.

Galloway’s experience at Ia Drang changed him. “I was somebody when I went to Vietnam. I was somebody else when I came out,” he said. Galloway went on to work for other publications after Vietnam. He covered the Gulf War and reported on two tours to Iraq. In 2006, he retired from journalism.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot
Galloway speaks at a Leader Professional Development session (U.S. Army)

Galloway’s legacy is preserved in his book, but also in the movie that it inspired. The 2002 film We Were Soldiers features actor Barry Pepper depicting Galloway and Mel Gibson depicting Moore. In 2008, Galloway and Moore released a second book, We are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam. Galloway also consulted on a PBS documentary about the Vietnam War and narrated another Vietnam War documentary, A Flag Between Two Families.

Galloway’s service to the soldiers of the Vietnam War was exemplary. At his Bronze Star ceremony, Maj. Gen. Allan Elliott called Galloway a “national treasure.” His dedication to the troops whose stories he told ensured that their service and sacrifices did not go unnoticed.

Check out the Thunderbird’s stunning photo shoot
Galloway receives a branding iron following a screening of We Were Soldiers to the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas (U.S. Army)

Feature Image: Marines give Joe Galloway a bird’s eye view of Haditha (DVIDS Hub)

Do Not Sell My Personal Information