A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks - We Are The Mighty
MIGHTY HISTORY

A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks

Based on the Army’s UH-60 Black Hawk, the HH-60G Pave Hawk is a highly modified version with upgraded communications and navigation suite. The forward-looking infrared system, color weather radar and an engine/rotor blade anti-ice system, enables the Pave Hawk to fly in bad weather. The in-flight refueling probe and auxiliary fuel tanks allow the Pave Hawk to outdistance other rescue helicopters.

The Pave Hawk’s crew of pararescue airmen can utilize its hoist, capable of lifting 600 pounds, to perform personnel recovery operations in hostile environments. The HH-60G is also used for civil search and rescue, medical evacuation, disaster response, humanitarian assistance, security cooperation/aviation advisory, NASA space flight support, and rescue command and control.


Design and development

In the early 1980s, the Air Force began its search for a replacement of the aging HH-3E Jolly Green Giant helicopter. The Air Force acquired UH-60 Black Hawks and modified them with a refueling probe, additional fuel tanks and .50 XM218s machine guns. These helicopters were renamed “Credible Hawks” and entered service in 1987.
In 1991, the Credible Hawks and new Black Hawks were upgraded again and re-designated to Pave Hawk.

After almost 40 years of service, the HH-60G Pave Hawk will be replaced by the HH-60W. Increased internal fuel capacity and new defensive systems and sensors will provide increased range and survivability during combat rescue missions. The fleet of HH-60Gs will be fully replaced with 112 HH-60Ws by 2029 with the first delivery scheduled for 2020.

Operational history

The HH-60 has operated during operations Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, Enduring Freedom, and continues to operate in Resolute Support and Operation Inherent Resolve, supporting coalition ground operations and standby search and rescue for U.S. and coalition fixed-wing combat aircraft.

A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks

U.S. Air Force pararescuemen, 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, secure the area after being lowered from a U.S. Air Force HH-60 Pave Hawk during a mission Nov. 7, 2012, in Afghanistan.

(Photo by staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

Personnel from 305th Rescue Squadron flew HH-60 Pave Hawks to rescue “Lone Survivor” Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, after his four-man team was ambushed in the mountains of Afghanistan and he was the only one to survive.
After Hurricane Katrina in September 2005, more than 20 active-duty, Reserve, and National Guard Pave Hawks were deployed to Jackson, Miss., in support of recovery operations in New Orleans and surrounding areas. Pave Hawk crews flew around-the-clock operations for nearly a month, saving more than 4,300 Americans from the post-hurricane devastation.

Within 24 hours of the Tohoku, Japan, earthquake and tsunami in 2011, HH-60Gs deployed to support Operation Tomodachi, providing search and rescue capability to the disaster relief efforts.

Since then Pave Hawks have been instrumental in saving lives during natural disasters and major floods.

A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks

An HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter from the 129th Rescue Wing, California Air National Guard, flies over Pardee Reservoir, in Lone, California, Saturday, April 14, 2018, during interagency aircrew training with CAL FIRE. Cal Guard helicopter crews and support personnel gathered for three days of joint wildfire aviation training to prepare for heightened fire activity in the summer and fall.

(Photo by Senior Airman Crystal Housman)

Did You Know?

  • PAVE stands for Precision Avionics Vectoring Equipment
  • To improve air transportability and shipboard operations, all HH-60Gs have folding rotor blades.
General Characteristics:
  • Primary Function: Personnel recovery in hostile conditions and military operations other than war in day, night or marginal weather
  • Contractor: United Technologies/Sikorsky Aircraft Company
  • Power Plant: Two General Electric T700-GE-700 or T700-GE-701C engines
  • Thrust: 1,560-1,940 shaft horsepower, each engine
  • Rotor Diameter: 53 feet, 7 inches (14.1 meters)
  • Length: 64 feet, 8 inches (17.1 meters)
  • Height: 16 feet, 8 inches (4.4 meters)
  • Weight: 22,000 pounds (9,900 kilograms)
  • Maximum Takeoff Weight: 22,000 pounds (9,900 kilograms)
  • Fuel Capacity: 4,500 pounds (2,041 kilograms)
  • Payload: depends upon mission
  • Speed: 184 mph (159 knots)
  • Range: 504 nautical miles
  • Ceiling: 14,000 feet (4,267 meters)
  • Armament: Two 7.62mm or .50 caliber machineguns
  • Crew: Two pilots, one flight engineer and one gunner
  • Unit Cost: .1 million (Fiscal year 2011 dollars)
  • Initial operating capability: 1982
  • Inventory: Active force, 67; ANG, 17; Reserve, 15
  • This article originally appeared on Airman Magazine. Follow @AirmanMagazine on Twitter.

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    17 photos that show how great-grandpa got ready for WWI

    Basic training sucks, but it follows a predictable pattern. A bunch of kids show up, someone shaves their heads, and they learn to shoot rifles.


    But it turns out that training can be so, so much better than that. In World War I, it included mascots, tarantulas, and snowmen.

    Check out these 18 photos to learn about what it was like to prepare for war 100 years ago:

    1. If the old photos in the National Archives are any indication, almost no one made it to a training camp without a train ride.

     

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    New York recruits heading to training write messages on the sides of their train. (Photo: National Archives and Records Administration)

    2. Inprocessing and uniform issue would look about the same as in the modern military. Everyone learns to wear the uniform properly and how to shave well enough to satisfy the cadre.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks

    3. Training camps were often tent cities or rushed construction, so pests and sanitation problems were constant.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    A U.S. Marine at Marine Corps Training Activity San Juan, Cuba, shows off the tarantula he found. Tarantulas commonly crawled into the Marines’ boots at night. (Photo: National Archives and Records Administration)

     

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
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    4. Unsurprisingly, training camps included a lot of trench warfare. America was a late entrant to the war and knew the kind of combat it would face.

     

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    Soldiers make their way through training trenches in Camp Fuston at Fort Riley, Kansas. (Photo: National Archives and Records Administration)

    5. Somehow, even training units had mascots in the Great War. This small monkey was commonly fed from a bottle.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    A World War I soldier plays with the unit mascot at Camp Wadsworth near Spartansburg, South Carolina. (Photo: National Archives and Records Administration)

    6. Seriously. Unit mascots were everywhere. One training company even boasted three mascots including a bear and a monkey.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    A World War I soldier lets the regimental mascot climb on him. (Photo: National Archives and Records Administration)

    7. Troops in camp built a snowman of the German kaiser in New York.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    Troops at Camp Upton on Long Island, New York, pose with their snowman of the kaiser. (Photo: National Archives and Records Administration)

    8. A lot of things were named for the enemy in the camps, including these bayonet targets.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks

    9. This grave is for another dummy named kaiser. He was interred after the unit dug trenches in training.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    Soldiers in a training camp at Plattsburg, New York, show off the grave they created for a dummy of the German kaiser during training on trench construction. (Photo: National Archives and Records Administration)

    10. World War I saw a deluge of new technologies that affected warfare. These shavers were preparing for a class in aerial photography.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    Soldiers training at the U.S. Army School of Aerial Photography in New York shave before their class. (Photo: National Archives and Records Administration)

    11. Uniform maintenance was often up to the individual soldier, so learning to mend shirts was as important as learning to shoot photos from planes.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    Soldiers from the 56th Infantry Regiment mend their own clothes at Camp McArthur near Waco, Texas. (Photo: National Archives and Records Administration)

    12. Local organizations showed their support for the troops through donations and morale events.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    Soldiers training at Camp Lewis, Washington, grab apples from the Seattle Auto-Mobile Club of Seattle. (Photo: National Archives and Records Administration)

    13. Some were better than others. Free apples are fine, but free tobacco is divine.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    A thirty-car train carrying 11 million sacks of tobacco leaves Durham, North Carolina, en route to France where it will be rationed to troops. (Photo: National Archives and Records Administration)

    14. Nothing is better than payday, even if the pay is a couple of dollars.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    Troops are paid at Camp Devens, Massachusetts. (Photo: National Archives and Records Administration)

    15. Someone get these men some smart phones or something. Three-person newspaper reading is not suitable entertainment for our troops.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    A father, son, and uncle share a newspaper on a visitor’s day during training camp. (Photo: National Archives and Records Administration)

    16. Once the troops were properly trained, they were shipped off to England and France. Their bags, on the other hand, were shipped home.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    Soldiers finished with stateside training pose next to the large pile of luggage destined for their homes as they ship overseas. (Photo: National Archives and Records Administration)

    17. Again, trains everywhere back then. Everywhere.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    Engineers ready to ship out write motivational messages on the side of their train car just before they leave the Atlanta, Georgia, area for France. (Photo: National Archives and Records Administration)

    MIGHTY CULTURE

    How this man went from being a refugee to a Marine will inspire you

    Every day, young American men and women join the military to serve their country and see the world — and they do. U.S. troops have a global impact. For many kids and communities around the world, their introduction to America is via the troops stationed near their homes or moving in and out of embassies.

    For one eight-old boy living in Liberia, West Africa, watching how U.S. Marines conducted themselves in his neighborhood made him want to flee to America and become a member of the “few and the proud.”

    In 1994, 18-year-old George Jones left his home in West Africa with his family after surviving a brutal civil war. Upon their arrival, Jones took some college courses, but the school expenses began to weigh too heavy. Jones left school and decided he needed to do something great with his life, so he enlisted in the Marine Corps and shipped out to Parris Island in South Carolina.

    Jones selected the infantryman MOS to help protect his brother who also enlisted as an “03” rifleman one week ahead of him.


    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    Marine rifleman Cpl. George Jones takes a moment for a photo op while in the field.

    While deployed on a ship with a Marine Expeditionary Unit, Jones was told by a well-respected Marine officer that he had what it took to get accepted to Officer Candidate School. This motivating information inspired Jones, and he applied for commissioning through the Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training (BOOST) program.

    The prideful Marine stuck it out through all the hardship of OCS and met his goal of becoming a Marine officer.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    Capt. George Jones as he stands proud of being a Marine officer.

    “If a young kid from Liberia came to the United States as a refugee, went through school, received a degree and had the privilege to lead sons and daughters as an officer, I think you can achieve anything.” — Marine Capt. George Jones proudly stated.

    Capt. Jones now serves as an Operations Officer for the 3rd Marine Division and plans to retire from service in the next couple of years. This Marine is a great reminder that we can overcome some insane obstacles in order to reach our goals.

    Check out the video below to hear this motivating story from the driven Marine himself.

    MIGHTY TRENDING

    The Taliban tried to kill the top US general in Afghanistan

    Gen. Scott Miller, the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan, on Oct. 18, 2018, narrowly escaped a bold, deadly insider attack the Taliban claimed responsibility for.

    Miller at one point drew his sidearm during the attack, but did not fire, according to CNN.

    The attack took place in Kandahar, and led to the death of Gen. Abdul Raziq, a powerful Afghan police chief.


    Several other Afghan police and officials were killed or wounded, and three Americans were wounded in the incident as well. The assailant was reportedly killed in the firefight.

    Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Smiley was among the Americans wounded in Oct. 18, 2018’s incident and is recovering from a gunshot wound, a NATO spokesman confirmed to CNN on Oct. 21, 2018. Smiley is in charge of the NATO military advisory mission in southern Afghanistan.

    The attack highlights just how insecure Afghanistan is, and came just two days before the country held national elections.

    It was an astonishing moment in a conflict that recently entered its 18th year, and perhaps the most embarrassing piece of evidence yet the US is badly losing the war.

    The Taliban hoped to kill a US general to get America to leave Afghanistan

    The Taliban said Miller was one of the targets of the attack in addition to Raziq, but the Pentagon denies this.

    A Taliban commander told NBC News if it had been successful in killing Miller, who emerged from the attack unscathed, that President Donald Trump would’ve withdrawn the roughly 15,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan. The Taliban still feels the attack was a “major success” due to the death of Raziq.

    Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Friday described the loss of Raziq, whom the Taliban attempted to kill dozens of times, as the “tragic loss of a patriot.” But Mattis also said the attack hasn’t made him less confident in the ability of Afghan security forces to take on the Taliban.

    Despite the Pentagon’s efforts to downplay the significant of this attack, it’s a sign of how emboldened the Taliban has become via major gains over the past year or so.

    The war has reached its deadliest point in years as the Taliban gains ground

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in July 2018 claimed Trump’s strategy in Afghanistan is working, and he suggested pressure from the US military and its allies was pushing the Taliban toward a peace process. But the reality is much different.

    Oct. 18, 2018’s attack came just one day after a Taliban suicide bomber targeted a NATO convoy close to Kabul, the Afghan capital, killing two civilians and injuring five Czech troops.

    At the moment, the Taliban controls or contests roughly half of all the country’s districts, according to the US military. But many military analysts claim approximately 61% of Afghanistan’s districts are controlled or threatened by the Taliban.

    There have been eight US military deaths in Afghanistan in 2018. This is a far-cry from the deadliest year of the war for American in 2010, when 499 US troops were killed.

    But civilian casualties are reaching unprecedented levels in Afghanistan, a sign of how unstable the country has become over the past year or so. The war is on track to kill over 20,000 civilians in Afghanistan this year alone, according to data from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, meaning the conflict has reached its deadliest point in years.

    America’s ‘forever war’

    There is still no end in sight to this war, which costs US taxpayers roughly billion per year, and the US government is running out of answers as to why American troops are still fighting and dying there.

    The conflict began as a reaction to the 9/11 terror attacks and the Taliban’s close ties to Osama bin Laden, who has since been assassinated by the US.

    At this point, Americans born after 9/11 are old enough to enlist in the military with parental consent, and will have the opportunity to fight in a conflict sparked by an event they couldn’t possibly remember.

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

    Featured

    Watch the new F-15QA perform a vertical takeoff and pull 9 Gs in its first ever flight

    The most advanced version of the F-15 ever built took to the skies in St. Louis, MO, on April 14, 2020, and highlighted just how impressive its capabilities are. In the 90 minute flight, the F-15QA (QA stands for Qatar Advanced) showcased its speed, maneuverability and, in general, just how badass of a force this new jet will be.


    What’s a “Viking takeoff”? Watch as the Qatar Emiri Air Force #F15 demonstrates the maneuver during its first flight.pic.twitter.com/wLHEuvH0Lt

    twitter.com

    With the F-15QA’s unmatched speed and maneuverability, Chief Test Pilot Matt Giese was able to showcase the capabilities by performing a vertical “Viking” takeoff and by pulling nine Gs during the test in various maneuvers. The maiden flight highlighted just how advanced this aircraft is. Avionics, radar and other systems all performed as designed and the flight was deemed a success.

    “This successful first flight is an important step in providing the QEAF an aircraft with best-in-class range and payload,” said Prat Kumar, Boeing vice president and F-15 program manager in a press release issued by Boeing. “The advanced F-15QA not only offers game changing capabilities but is also built using advanced manufacturing processes which make the jet more efficient to manufacture. In the field, the F-15 costs half the cost per flight hour of similar fighter aircraft and delivers far more payload at far greater ranges. That’s success for the warfighter.”

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks

    Image via Boeing

    The F-15QA was developed for the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF). The Department of Defense awarded Boeing a .2 billion contract in 2017 to manufacture 36 F-15 fighter jets for the QEAF with delivery date being 2021. To put it mildly: the QEAF is stoked.

    “We are very proud of this accomplishment and looking forward with great excitement to the continued successes of this program,” Col. Ahmed Al Mansoori, commander, QEAF F-15 Wing said in a press release. “This successful first flight is an important milestone that brings our squadrons one step closer to flying this incredible aircraft over the skies of Qatar.”

    In addition to being able to perform seamless Viking takeoffs, Boeing shared the other impressive features of the advanced aircraft. According to Boeing, the F-15QA brings to its operators next-generation technologies such as fly-by-wire flight controls, digital cockpit; modernized sensors, radar, and electronic warfare capabilities; and the world’s fastest mission computer. Increases in reliability, sustainability and maintainability allow defense operators to affordably remain ahead of current and evolving threats.

    https://twitter.com/abdulmoiz1990/statuses/978202978984300544
    [VIDEO]: Qatar Emiri Air Force F-15QA will get large area display cockpit with touch screen made by Elbit Systemspic.twitter.com/6kUzF0VHby

    twitter.com

    Don’t worry, this fun and excitement isn’t only for Qatar. Boeing is preparing to build a “domestic variant” of the F-15QA, the F-15EX, as approved in the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. According to Boeing, in January, the Air Force announced their intention to award a sole-source contract to Boeing for eight of the F-15EX, with future plans for as many as 144.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks

    The F15EX. Image via Boeing

    Boeing considers the F-15EX the cost-effective, ready solution. According to their website:

    In support of the National Defense Strategy, the United States Air Force must purchase an additional 24 combat aircraft per year. F-15EX is the only way to rapidly and affordably meet the Air Force’s critical requirements.

    Boeing’s F-15EX is the most cost-effective, ready, advanced solution to meet U.S. Air Force capacity requirements and add capability to the fleet. Driven by Boeing’s active production line, the next-generation jet enables pilots and mechanics to transition in a matter of days as opposed to years while delivering unmatched total life cycle costs.

    The F-15EX leverages B+ in technology investments over the past decade to bring the U.S. Air Force the world’s most modern variant of the undefeated F-15. Complementing other aircraft, the F-15EX enhances the air combat capabilities of the fleet to ensure the U.S. remains ahead of current and emerging threats. With next-generation technologies to provide unrivaled capabilities in a broad spectrum of environments, Boeing’s F-15EX delivers more payload, capacity and range than any fighter in its class.
    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks

    Image via Boeing

    We can’t wait.

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    4 legendary search and rescue helicopters

    Air Force pararescuemen are among the elite when it comes to special operations. Their main task is to rescue pilots who have been shot down behind enemy lines. It’s never been an easy task, but at least the tech has improved since World War II. Back then, a pilot had to walk back to friendly lines – a very long walk.


    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    A pilot ejects from his P-51 Mustang in the skies over Normandy. Not ideal.

     

    Amphibious planes, like the PBY Catalina and HU-16 made rescue possible, but you needed enough water – or a strip of land – for them to land and take off. The same went for other planes, even the L-5, the military designation for the Piper Cub.

    Insert the helicopter. They first appeared in a small capacity during the Korean War before they really came of age during Vietnam, proving to be the search-and-rescue asset America needed.

    Here’s a look some legendary choppers that carried out that mission.

    1. Sikorsky HH-3 Jolly Green Giant

    The first helicopter to become a legend for search and rescue was the Sikorsky HH-3. The H-3 airframe was first designed for the Navy to carry out anti-submarine warfare, and was called the Sea King. But the size of the chopper lead the Air Force to buy some as heavy transports. They were eventually equipped with 7.62mm Miniguns and used to rescue pilots, with some seeing service in Desert Storm and the last ones serving until 1995.

    According to an Air Force fact sheet, the HH-3 has a top speed of 177 miles per hour, and could carry up to 25 passengers or 15 litters, plus a crew of four and two attendants.

     

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    An A-1 Skyraider escorts an HH-3C rescue helicopter as it goes in to pick up a downed pilot in Vietnam. (National Museum of the USAF Photo)

     

    2. Sikorsky HH-53 Super Jolly/Pave Low

    The Air Force didn’t stop with the Jolly Green. Eventually, the even larger HH-53 was procured, and called the Super Jolly Green Giant. They also took part in search-and-rescue missions during the Vietnam War, but after that war, the HH-53s were upgraded into the Pave Low configuration, making them capable of operating at night and bad weather. They also became used as special operations transports. The last Pave Lows were retired in 2008.

    According to an Air Force fact sheet, the latest version of the Pave Low has a top speed of 165 miles per hour, an un-refueled range of 690 miles, and a crew of six.

     

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV on display in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

     

    3. Sikorsky HH-60G Pave Hawk

    The Air Force though, was looking for more search-and-rescue assets – mostly because they only bought 41 of the Super Jolly Green Giants. The HH-60G is primarily tasked with the combat search and rescue role, and it usually carries .50-caliber machine guns to protect itself. Like the Pave Low, the Pave Hawk can carry out missions at night or day. The HH-60G is currently serving.

    An Air Force fact sheet notes that a total of 99 Pave Hawks serve in the active Air Force, the Air National Guard, and Air Force Reserve. The Pave Hawk has a top speed of 184 miles per hour, an unrefueled range of 504 nautical miles, and can carry a crew of four.

     

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    The HH-60G’s primary wartime mission is combat search and rescue, infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces in day, night or marginal weather conditions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Lance Cheung)

     

    4. Sikorsky HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter

    The H-60 airframe has been a mainstay of all five armed services, so much so that the replacement for the HH-60G is another H-60. In this case, the HH-60W is a modified version of the Army’s UH-60M Blackhawk.

    According to materials provided by Sikorsky, a division of Lockheed Martin, the HH-60W has a combat radius of 195 nautical miles, and is equipped with new displays to reduce the air crew’s workload, and to help the pararescue jumpers do their job more efficiently. The Air Force plans to buy 112 HH-60Ws to replace the 99 HH-60Gs currently in service.

     

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    Artist’s impression of Sikorsky’s HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter (Graphic from Lockheed Martin)

    In short, when a pilot goes down, the assets are now there to pull him out, and to keep him from becoming a guest in a 21st century Hanoi Hilton.

    MIGHTY TACTICAL

    Our 7 most favorite issued items ever

    Everyone has their favorite piece of issued gear. It doesn’t matter why you love it, you just do. And chances are good that you loved it so much, it got “lost” during your last deployment.


    Military people are good people, so I don’t like to use the word “theft.” We’ll call it the usual, “Strategic Transfer of Equipment to an Alternate Location.”

    7. IR patches

    Do you know which country’s troops are the toughest in combat? The United States. Now, do you know which country’s troops would be the most lethal for U.S. troops to fight? The United States.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    Those patches on their chests will light up in NVGs.

    Those backward flags worn U.S. military uniforms keep blue-on-blue accidents from happening at night. While in the field, they’re worn on the chest or arm. When the wearer transitions to veteran status, it goes on their ball cap.

    6. Multi-tools

    No matter which brand you prefer, Gerber or Leatherman, this is one of the most useful things troops deploy with. The range of use is astonishing. You can use it for one of its many on-label functions, like a screwdriver. Or maybe you need to bend the lower receiver on a .50-cal back into place. Or maybe you need to pull some shrapnel out of your battle buddy. The multi-tool is what you need.

    In your post-military life, your Gerber is likely to end up constructing Ikea furniture.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    Or, in my case, breaking Ikea furniture.

    5. Gen-III cold weather fleece

    Everyone knows a fleece jacket is both comfortable as hell while making you look 20 pounds heavier. The Army’s extreme cold weather fleece has the same problem with the added benefit of being a part of a bigger cold weather system that actually works.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    I am warmer just looking at this photo.

    The old issued M-65 field jackets were just like coats, in that you wear them, but they were about as protective as flip-flops.

    4. Angle-head flashlights

    In the event of nuclear war, two things will survive: cockroaches and your old, angle-head flashlight. These old things are beloved by veterans of many eras. Sure, they update the issued lights, they switched to surefire flashlights, and they even updated the angled heads on some models, but there’s a reason these are so iconic.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    And it’s not just because of how many movies and video games they’re in.

    You may not have a daily use for a signal light, but chances are good this is in your home or car emergency kit — or even your bug-out bag.

    3. The KA-BAR

    This one only applies to Marines, but the KA-BAR is pretty much the utility knife. For whatever reason they might need a utility knife, Marines will always say their issued KA-BAR is indispensable. And none of them ever want to give it up at the end of the day.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    Do not try to steal one of these from a Marine. You might get to know the pointy end very fast.

    2. Woobie

    Not every branch refers to the poncho liner as the “woobie,” but everyone can appreciate how useful this blanket is. It now even has a cult following of troops and veterans who turn their woobies into everything from smoking jackets to snuggies.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    This guy looks like he’s running for office and, frankly, I want to vote for him. (Facebook photo from The Woobie Smoking Jacket)

    1. Camelbacks

    If you don’t think the Camelback is an amazing advance in issued military equipment, try to remember what it was like to haul around a canteen on your LBV.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    Me too.

    You know what else is great about taking a camelback on a deployment? Or hiking, or boating, or literally anywhere else where you need to carry a lot of water? It doesn’t taste like sh*tty canteen water.

    MIGHTY CULTURE

    Navy says it has top-secret information about UFOs

    The Navy has said it has top-secret information about unidentified flying objects that could cause “exceptionally grave damage to the National Security of the United States” if released.

    A Navy representative responded to a Freedom of Information Act request sent by a researcher named Christian Lambright by saying the Navy had “discovered certain briefing slides that are classified TOP SECRET,” Vice reported last week.

    But the representative from the Navy’s Office of Naval Intelligence said “the Original Classification Authority has determined that the release of these materials would cause exceptionally grave damage to the National Security of the United States.”


    The person also said the Navy had at least one related video classified as “SECRET.”

    Vice said it independently verified the response to Lambright’s request with the Navy.

    Lambright’s request for information was related to a series of videos showing Navy pilots baffled by mysterious, fast objects in the sky.

    The Navy previously confirmed it was treating these objects as UFOs.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks

    An image from a 2004 video filmed near San Diego showing a UFO.

    (CNN/Department of Defense)

    The term UFO, along with others like “unidentified aerial phenomena” and “unidentified flying object,” does not necessarily mean the object is thought to be extraterrestrial. Many such sightings ultimately end up having logical and earthly explanations — often involving military technology.

    A spokeswoman for the Pentagon had also previously told The Black Vault, a civilian-run archive of government documents, that the videos “were never officially released to the general public by the DOD and should still be withheld.”

    The Department of Defense videos show pilots confused by what they are seeing. In one video, a pilot said: “What the f— is that thing?”

    The Pentagon spokeswoman Susan Gough said this week that an investigation into “sightings is ongoing.”

    Joseph Gradisher, the Navy’s spokesman for the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, told The Black Vault last year: “The Navy has not publicly released characterizations or descriptions, nor released any hypothesis or conclusions, in regard to the objects contained in the referenced videos.”

    According to The Black Vault, Gradisher said the Department of Defense videos were filmed in 2004 and 2015. The New York Times also reported that one of the videos was from 2004.

    You can watch the 2004 video here, as shared by To the Stars Academy, a UFO research group cofounded by Tom deLonge from the rock group Blink-182:

    FLIR1: Official UAP Footage from the USG for Public Release

    www.youtube.com

    One of the videos was shared by The New York Times in December 2017, with one commander who saw the object on a training mission telling The Times “it accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen.”

    Another pilot told the outlet: “These things would be out there all day.”

    Pilots told The Times that the objects could accelerate, stop, and turn in ways that went beyond known aerospace technology. Many of the pilots who spoke with The Times were part of a Navy flight squadron known as the “Red Rippers,” and they reported the sightings to the Pentagon and Congress.

    “Navy pilots reported to their superiors that the objects had no visible engine or infrared exhaust plumes, but that they could reach 30,000 feet and hypersonic speeds,” the Times report said.

    Scientists also told The Times they were skeptical that these videos showed anything extraterrestrial.

    Gough, the Pentagon spokeswoman, would not comment to Vice on whether the 2004 source video that the Navy possessed had any more information than the one that has been circulating online, but she said that it was the same length and that the Pentagon did not plan on releasing it.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks

    An image from the 2015 video.

    (NYT)

    John Greenewald, the curator of The Black Vault, told Vice in September that he was surprised the Navy had classified the objects as unidentified.

    “I very much expected that when the US military addressed the videos, they would coincide with language we see on official documents that have now been released, and they would label them as ‘drones’ or ‘balloons,'” he said.

    “However, they did not. They went on the record stating the ‘phenomena’ depicted in those videos, is ‘unidentified.’ That really made me surprised, intrigued, excited, and motivated to push harder for the truth.”

    US President Donald Trump said in June that he had been briefed on the fact that Navy pilots were reporting increased sightings of UFOs.

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

    MIGHTY TRENDING

    North Korea offered to give up this threat to 9 million people

    North Korean diplomats talking to South Korean officials in the demilitarized border zone between the two countries reportedly offered to remove the North’s long-range artillery guns, which have been a dagger pointed at Seoul’s throat for decades.

    Before North Korea tested its first nuclear weapon, before it even built its first facility to create fissile material, its artillery had established a strong deterrent against South Korea and the US.


    North Korea is estimated to have thousands of massive artillery guns hidden in hardened shelters among the hills and mountains of the country’s rugged terrain. Artillery batteries located within range of the South Korean capital of Seoul could kill tens of thousands of people every hour if war were to break out.

    Accounts in South Korean media differ over who exactly proposed the latest measure, but it came at a general-level military dialogue, which hadn’t happened for over a decade before.

    The two nations, still technically at war after signing an armistice in the 1950s, met under the banner of “practically eliminate the danger of war,” as South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to do on April 27, 2018, during their historic first summit.

    Not nuclear, but not nothing

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks
    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un providing guidance on a nuclear weapons program in an undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang on September 3, 2017.

    North Korea’s artillery guns have little to do with its nuclear weapons program, the elimination of which is the stated purpose of all recent North Korean diplomacy.

    But the guns represent a substantial part of North Korea’s threat to Seoul, perhaps acting as the main deterrent holding off a US or South Korean invasion during the multidecade military standoff.

    Precisely because the artillery is so formidable, expect to see North Korea ask for something in return. Kim could ask for a withdrawal of or a reduction in US forces in South Korea — a longstanding goal in Pyongyang. Roughly 28,000 US troops are stationed in South Korea as a deterrent.

    Experts assess that any steps made to wither the US-South Korean alliance could precipitate the decline of the US as a power in Asia and then the world.

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

    MIGHTY HISTORY

    Why Robert E. Lee wore a colonel’s rank during the Civil War

    When Robert E. Lee left the Union Army to command the Army of Northern Virginia, he was just a colonel – a far cry from being the military leader the Confederate forces needed him to be. Despite his promotion in the army of the Confederacy and his rise to prominence as the most able leader the southern states had, he still wore the rank conferred upon him by his former country.


    Even as he negotiated the surrender of his new country.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks

    Judging just by ranks, the guy holding Robert E. Lee’s chair almost matches his rank.

    Every time we see the leader of the Confederate army in photos or paintings, he’s wearing the rank we’ve come to know as Lieutenant General, a design of three gold stars in the Union Army. But when the Confederacy broke away from the Union, they didn’t just adapt every American military custom and design. Much of the Confederate leadership, especially in the military, were men from West Point who had devoted their lives to military customs and courtesies. Of course, they’re going to change things up.

    That was especially true for military uniforms. They took on the color gray for their uniforms in general and did keep a lot of customs held by the Union Army, but they completely revamped the officers’ rank symbols.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks

    A general of Robert E. Lee’s stature in the Confederate Army would still be wearing gold stars, but his gold stars would have a golden wreath around them and would have a different sleeve design. Instead, the three gold stars he wore every day in Confederate uniform were the equivalent of his last rank in the Union Army, a colonel, despite being named one of the Confederacy’s first five general officers. But Lee didn’t just want to be conferred to a General’s rank.

    Instead, Lee had hoped that he could be properly promoted after the Civil War, assuming the Confederacy won its independence. He wanted to be promoted to full General during peacetime, presumably so he could celebrate his new promotion properly, instead of having to push McClellan back from within six miles of Richmond, Va. though some speculate at first it was the highest rank he felt qualified to wear.

    Strange reasoning for the man who would essentially take command of the entire war for the South. It’s more likely the man just preferred the simple design of the colonel’s uniform and chose to wear that because he could. Who’s going to argue with Robert E. Lee?

    MIGHTY CULTURE

    This is what a Marine can expect from IRR muster

    So, you’ve been navigating the vast ocean of civilian life, all while growing an impressive beard and wearing that veteran’s hat to places. Suddenly, one day, you get a letter — orders for Individual, Ready Reserve Muster. But at this point, you’ve been out for so long, and you’re wondering why they’re calling you back. Well, the Marine Corps wants to check in and make sure you’re still ready to be called back into active service should they need you back in the rain, dealing pain.

    It may seem like an inconvenience and, sure, it might be, but it’s really not that bad. It’s only a few hours on the weekend, and you can choose to go in the morning or the afternoon. On top of that, you’ll get paid somewhere around $250, for three hours of time. You might show up and hear a bunch of fellow Marines complain, but it’s not a field op. It’s not raining. You just sit in a few rooms, fill out some paperwork, and then you’re on your way.

    Overall, here’s what you can expect:


    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks

    It almost brings a tear to your eye. Almost.

    (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Lucas Vega)

    You get treated like a human being

    There’s going to be a ton of staff NCOs and officers hanging around muster. None of them are going to yell at you for your lack of shave, haircut, or proper greeting of the day. Not a single one will hit you with a, “hey there, Devil Dog,” just to chew your ass for not saying good morning.

    Furthermore, when you talk to the admin clerks and other Marines running the muster, they won’t even require you to address them by rank. Here’s the thing: they know you’re a Marine, but they actually just treat you like another person, which is an improvement.

    Waiting in lines

    Did you expect anything different? Most of your time at muster will be spent in lines… go figure. Waiting to leave rooms, waiting to have someone look at a medical form, etc. You know the drill. Honestly, it’s not as bad as any other line you’ve been through in the Marines. Not even close.

    The only thing that makes those lines bad is the fact that you’re trying to get out of there to go do civilian things, like eat real food, not shave, and not worry about formation.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks

    It’s seriously not bad.

    (U.S. Air Force photo by Daniel Hughes)

    Briefs

    No, not your underpants — you know what we mean. You’re going to get two briefs for a max of, like, 20 minutes, tops. One is from the VA and the other is to tell you about your options in the Reserve. It’s definitely not anywhere near as bad as annual training briefs, which span the course of several days, and last for about eight hours each.

    Medical screening

    Right after you go through the briefs, you’ll fill out a medical form to list any ailments you may have. If you do have some medical issues, you’ll wait to go into a room for a screening where they’ll decide whether or not you’re still in good enough condition to deploy if necessary. Otherwise, you go straight to the administrative room.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks

    It doesn’t take long, honestly.

    (U.S. Air Force photo by Daniel Hughes)

    Administrative tasks

    This part probably takes the longest, and it’s mostly just waiting (again, go figure). You’re just there to verify that your contact information is correct as well as your Record of Emergency Data and other things. It’s just a quick scan, sign, date, and then you verify your bank information, turn in the paperwork, and you’re out of there.

    A lot of other people might complain but, realistically, IRR Muster is not the worst thing you could do on a Saturday — especially when you compare it to your Saturdays spent as a Marine.

    MIGHTY CULTURE

    Watch this amazing police dog traverse tricky obstacles

    A Belgian Malinois named Lachi has earned some celebrity for his video in which he traverses two thin ropes in order to retrieve his tennis ball.


    MIGHTY GAMING

    Why ‘Goldeneye’ is still remembered as one of the best shooters, 21 years later

    Rare Limited’s Goldeneye 007 was released for the Nintendo 64 on August 25, 1997. Despite being 21 years old, this game still sits near the top of many, many older gamers’ top ten video games lists. It was glitchy, had several design flaws (like the extremely unbalanced Oddjob), and featured a control scheme that hasn’t aged gracefully — but none of that really matters.

    The game will always hold a spot in our hearts. For many people, it was their first time getting their hands on a first-person shooter game. For others, it was the first time staying up all night long competing against a living room full of friends. Shooters might be a dime a dozen these days, but this game is a legend.

    Here’s why it remains a hallmark title in the industry.


    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks

    Or, you know, using to extreme DIY measures to prevent “screen cheating.”

    (Photo via Reddit u/thx316)

    Goldeneye 007 was one of the first major games to incorporate multiplayer into the first-person shooter genre for the home console. While there are multiplayer mods for Doom on the PC that predate Goldeneye, there weren’t any games that brought groups of friends together into the same living room, playing on the same console, and splitting the same TV into four different sections.

    This laid the groundwork for a long lineage of other successive franchises, like Halo and Call of Duty, that later incorporated the same multiplayer mechanic into their games. This kind of high-octane, social experience was fun for all, and downright formative for some.

    Of course, split-screen multiplayer also means that your sibling’s looking at your portion of the screen, but let’s be honest, everybody did it and that was part of what made the game so great. Once you understood that “screen cheating” was a given, it became part of the game — you could punish someone for looking away from their screen or lure them into a remote mine or two.

    A brief history of the legendary HH-60 Pave Hawks

    ‘Goldeneye’ — “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!”

    (Rare Limited)

    The game also sported several minor features that were mind-blowing back then, but have since become standard practice. There was a huge variety ofweapons available foruse, like shotguns, rifles, snipers, and handguns, but it also had offbeat selections, likesilenced weapons, lasers, insta-kill golden guns, and plenty of gadgets featuredthroughout the iconicfilm series.

    The “cheats” in the game were also memorable for being just hilariously fun. Everyone, at some point, wouldtry out “big head mode” and “paintball mode,” just to experiencesomething new. Unlike modern games, where cheat codes are mostly offered as paid DLC, you earned these goofy rewards in-game by beating single player levels on a increasingdifficulties within a certain amount of time.

    Today, Goldeneye 007 still holds a dear place in the hearts of many gamers. Computer and Video Games Magazine gave it the top spot on their “top 100 games of all time” back in 2000 and you’ll still find it ranking highly today.

    The love for Goldeneye is universal. The game has been included in the Smithsonian American Art Museum for being “culturally and artistically significant.”

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