Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough - We Are The Mighty
MIGHTY TACTICAL

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

Video of a remarkable aerobatic display by Lockheed Chief Pilot Wayne Roberts in a new LM-100J Super Hercules variant is lighting up the internet in the last couple of days. Roberts flew an incredible demonstration routine at the Farnborough Air Show in the new civilian variant of the legacy C-130 Hercules. It is almost certainly the most remarkable demonstration flying ever in a C-130 variant. At one point during the display the LM-100J was completely inverted.


As reporter Tyler Rogoway wrote in The War Zone for TheDrive.com, this is the last demonstration tour for Chief Pilot Wayne Roberts, and he is going out with a spectacular routine.

www.youtube.com


We’ve seen smaller tactical transports demonstrate some impressive aerobatics, including the Italian Air Force C-27J display at the 2017 Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT). But we’ve never seen video of a C-130 variant flying a routine that is this dynamic, including the momentarily completely inverted portion of the display.

The LM-100J is a new version of the highly successful Lockheed C-130 intended for the civilian cargo lift, firefighting and utility market. The original C-130 first flew a remarkable 64 years ago. It is also the longest continuously produced military aircraft in history. C-130 variants are used as gunships, bombers, tactical transports, weather reconnaissance, electronic warfare, search and rescue and other special missions with militaries around the world.

The new LM-100J Super Hercules uses the new, more powerful Rolls Royce AE 2100D3 engines. It first flew with these engines on May 25, 2018. The LM-100J Super Hercules is a replacement for the older L-100 version of the Hercules built from 1964 until 1992. There were 115 of the original L-100s built.

www.youtube.com

According to Lockheed, the flight test program for the LM-100J should be “done by year end” and the aircraft could receive FAA certification in 2019.

Lockheed pilot Wayne Roberts told the website C-130MRO.com that [the new LM-100J], “It flies as wonderfully as it always has. For 60 years, [the C-130] has operated into some of the shortest runways in the world. It still does that extremely well, but it now has new avionics and engines too.” The writers at C-130MRO.com went on to say that the LM-100J is, “Essentially a tweaked version of the C-130J tactical transport, the civil freighter benefits from the over 20 years and 1.5 million flight hours of the military model.”

Some fascinating features on the new LM-100J not normally seen on civilian oriented transports will eventually include night-vision-goggle and air-drop capability, although these will not be certificated initially. This raises the possibility of the aircraft being used by government contractors and intelligence agencies. The C-130J is offered in both long- and short-fuselage variants, the freighter will only be sold in its longer, 34.37m (112ft 9in) version. In addition to being a cargo transport, Lockheed sees potential for the LM-100J to perform missions including aerial firefighting, search and rescue, and even VIP transport.

Transport aircraft often take a back seat to high performance jets and aerobatic teams at airshow demos. But there is no doubt that with the sensation across the internet over the remarkable flying of pilot Chief Pilot Wayne Roberts in the LM-100J that harkens back to pilots like Bob Hoover in the Rockwell Aero Commander, this last demonstration series by Roberts will be remembered for a long, long time.

This article originally appeared on The Aviationist. Follow @theaviationist on Twitter.

popular

5 little reasons why getting married on active duty sucks

When I was a young, motivated recruit at Parris Island, my drill instructor stood behind a stack of foot lockers assembled into a podium. “This is the most important period of instruction of your life,” he said with a thousand-yard stare. What were we talking about?

“Marriage.”

For an unknown amount of time, we sat there, listening to passionate warnings from our most-feared mentor. He recited romantic tragedies that gave Greek myths a run for their money. Afterwards, he gave the obligatory lesson on the administrative process of enrolling your new family for benefits.

Today, I pass those words of traumatic wisdom onto you, the young, love-struck recruit.


Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough
Happens in every branch. (Mark Baker)

1. Deployments don’t get easier, you get tougher

Marines are tough — and they need an equally tough spouse to weather the storm of deployments. We’re the tip of the spear, and you need to make sure that’s what your spouse bargained for.

Some deployments are shorter than others and they involve varying degrees of danger — but they don’t easier. You need someone that, when the going gets tough, they get tougher. But it’ll always suck.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough
“But you said you wanted to travel, babe!” (Julie L. Negron)

 

2. You’re not getting out of work, you’re doing different work

Some troops use their marriage as a way to get out of work, and there’s nothing single troops can do but watch them put on those already-sharp skates and get out of dodge — but it’s not all free time and rainbows on the other side.

I had a master gunnery sergeant who referred to his wife as the ‘sergeant major’ of the house. When you’re single, can you just pack your stuff in your car and hit the road. Married Marines, however, have much more red tape to navigate.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough
At least you don’t have to police call at 0530 now.
(Terminal Lance)

3. You’ll miss being a degenerate

Gone are the days of actionable intel from the Lance Corporal Underground, last-minute trips to a bar crawl, and the spontaneous brawls between Alpha company and Charlie company.

Sure, you might not miss the part where the Big Green Weenie conducts acts of terror. You won’t miss random formations, the duty needing something or drunk people breaking your stuff, but you will miss time with the boys.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

4. Everyone knows your secrets

Your spouse needs friends. Naturally, the spouses of your friends are the first round draft picks. They can keep each other informed on what your unit is doing, important dates and if you’re being delayed.

In a way, it’s convenient. Even if you haven’t had the opportunity to speak with your loved one, he or she knows why, and won’t worry. However, that’s not the only thing they’ll talk about. Assume nothing is sacred. Susie and Kelly know your secrets in and out of the bedroom. OPSEC or the whole unit will know your search history, too.

5. Contract marriages are, uh… flimsy

A contract marriage is when two people fall in love — for money. The Big Green Weenie and the law’s blue version will hold hands while they unceremoniously wreck your life. Not only is it illegal to marry someone for the increased pay and benefits, but your spouse will inevitably betray you.

Before your first deployment is over, your house will be sold, your truck will be gone, and they’ll upload a video wearing your favorite shirt that can’t be shown on YouTube.

MIGHTY FIT

Those ‘core’ exercises in military PT tests don’t actually prove anything about your fitness

Preparing for the abs portion of your PT test might trick you into thinking you have a six pack, but those workouts are potentially getting you into worse shape. Stop taking ab selfies in the gym mirror and listen up.


“Core exercises” are a part of every service’s PT test, whether it’s crunches, sit-ups, or what the Navy inexplicably calls, “curls-ups.”

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

This is a curl-up… right?

If you’ve carefully read the procedural guidelines for your service’s PT test, you already know how easy it is to cheat on these ab exercises. Or maybe you’re just really bad at counting…

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

…8, 9, 10, 17, 18, 36, 74… Teamwork at its finest.

Even if you’re not a cheater, the abdominal portion of the PT test is still only testing your ability to do that one hyper-specific movement, not your overall core strength. Strength is specific to how you train, and how you train should be specific to what you do (you know, like your job). What job in the military are any of these exercises specific to? Those crunches will make you able to sh*t really fast and keep your breaks short and your NCO happy, but it won’t make you stronger.

The Navy PRT guidelines state that, “the curl-up, when performed properly, can help develop abdominal strength and endurance, which are important factors in preventing low-back injuries.”

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

Nice view, okay smell…

While ab strength definitely protects the spine, the curl-up is far from targeting the actual core muscles needed for that job. The abdominals have many functions, and only one of them is flexion of the spine.

Flexion: that’s the one where you flex your abs, and your spine makes the same shape as Gollum’s.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

That’s right — stretch it out.

The other functions of the abs include but are not limited to, breathing, coughing, sneezing, stabilizing, and maintaining posture.

You have four main groups of abdominals:

  1. Internal obliques help with breathing, rotation, and side bending.
  2. External obliques help pull the chest downward to increase pressure in your abdomen, which is important for the Valsalva maneuver. Divers, pilots, and people who move heavy weight couldn’t survive without them.
  3. The transverse abdominis is the deep, corset-like muscle that provides stability and postural support for the spine. Without it, you would rupture a spinal disk every time you farted.
  4. The rectus abdominis is the sexy one. The rectus abdominis’ primary function is to flex your trunk. It also happens to be the only one really tested in any PT test.

An exercise program that only tests one function of the abs leaves a huge gap in both knowledge and functionality for both you and your service of choice.

Judging from your PT scores alone, no one can tell if your body is actually structurally sound. So, the next time you go to dig a fighting hole, load a torpedo, or crank a wrench may just be the time that your weak back and tight rectus abdominis conspire against your spine, even if you scored among the best.

In order to have full spinal protection, you need to ensure you are working all the muscles of your core, from front to back. That includes the erector spinae. These are the muscles that are growing weak while you crunch your way to some non-specific lower back pain.

Having a strong rectus abdominis and weak erector spinae creates the kind of postural imbalance that causes back pain and loss of mobility and, as a service member, if you can’t hold up your body, you’re about as useful as a poopy-flavored lollipop.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

Tasty…

Since you only have to do curl-ups for your PT test, why bother ensuring your low back muscles are equally as strong as your abs? Having a strong lower back isn’t going to get you promoted faster. But low back pain is the most common type of pain in existence today. 84% of humans have reported that, at one point in their life, they experienced back pain of some kind.

The military is not exempt from this statistic. I’ve known 19-year-old LCpls with “chronic” back pain. This type of highly preventable injury crushes combat readiness.

“Hey, Devildog! Get up! We still have 6 klicks to the objective!”
“I can’t Sergeant, my L3 is throbbing! I have chronic back pain.”
“Didn’t you get a 300 on your PFT? You’re supposed to be in shape!”

So, following the clues, not only does the PT test not prove that you can function adequately to conduct your job, it inadvertently causes you to injure your back by becoming hyper-focused on your front.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

This takes REAL core strength.

Try these “core exercises” instead: squats, deadlifts, lunges, and farmers’ carries. These exercises load your core the way it is designed to work: with all core and back muscles engaged equally and totally.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

https://www.composurefitness.com/gamp1/

MIGHTY CULTURE

New guidelines on Artificial Intelligence will not solve the ethics p​roblems

The European Commission has just published a white paper setting out guidelines for artificial intelligence. They hope to ‘address the risks associated with certain uses of this new technology,’ including concerns around privacy and human dignity.


Meanwhile, the Pentagon is finalizing its own rules on the ethical use of artificial intelligence, following a draft of the rules published in October. Like the European Commission, the Department of Defense is determined to keep people in the loop: ‘Human beings should… remain responsible for the development, deployment, use and outcomes of DoD AI systems,’ they say.

These are only the latest steps to catch up with the new technology. Oxford University has already launched a special program to keep artificial intelligence on the straight and narrow, while the World Economic Forum and others have highlighted the profound moral implications of AI.

The root of the fear is this: whereas earlier technological advances affected just our actions, artificial intelligence is replacing our thoughts. Labor-saving devices are morphing into a decision-making machine, and they operate in a moral vacuum.

Until now, the tough calls have fallen to programmers who write algorithms. Although the point of AI is that machines learn for themselves, the course they choose is set from the start by people who write the code.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

The stakes become enormous with the sort of automated decisions in defense the Pentagon is considering. And as long as the West’s main adversaries – Russia and China – are speeding forward with artificial intelligence, NATO countries have to stay ahead. Jack Shanahan, the Pentagon’s AI chief, has said that the US is locked ‘In a contest for the character of the international order in the digital age.’

While both the Pentagon and the European Commission are right to be alarmed at the profound ethical dimension to artificial intelligence, they are wrong to presume AI raises new ethical problems. It doesn’t – it just repaints old ones in technicolor. These problems have never been properly solved, and probably never will be.

Consider just these three of the most worrisome dilemmas Artificial Intelligence is said to create.

  1. If forced to choose, should a car driven by AI technology kill a pregnant woman or the two kids? The dilemma is no different when there’s a human at the wheel.
  2. Should algorithms draw on people’s race, gender or religion if it makes them more efficient? It’s been a question for airline security since 9/11.
  3. When our enemy has automated their battlefield machines so they can deploy them more quickly, should we do the same to keep up? This one pre-dates the First World War.
Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

In fact, all the problems which haunt artificial intelligence coders today can be traced back to conundrums, which vexed the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle. The 23 centuries since he died have seen attempts to solve them, and some progress, but we still lack a definite answer to the fundamental question, ‘What should we do?’ Neither today’s European Commission paper nor the emerging Pentagon proposals will take us closer to a solution.

Some in the tech world – especially those who have cracked previously uncrackable problems before – are hoping money and brains will lead to a solution. After all, the determined genius of Newton and Einstein solved physics. Why can’t a little investment solve ethics in the same way?

The answer is that ethics is, at heart, a different sort of problem.

When we humans make decisions, we instinctively locate right and wrong in several places at once: in the motives behind the choice, in the type of action we do, and in the consequences, we bring about. Only if you focus on just a single place in the decision-making process – just on consequences, say – then you can rank and compare every option, but inevitably you will miss something out.

So, if an AI system was certain what to do when good deeds lead to a bad outcome, or when bad motives help people out, we should be very wary: it would be offering moral clarity when really there wasn’t any.

It is just conceivable that AI, rather than being a cause of moral problems, could help solve them. By using big data to anticipate the future and by helping us work out what would happen if everybody followed certain rules, artificial intelligence makes rule- and consequence-based ethics much easier. Applied thoughtfully, AI could help answer some tricky moral quandaries. In a few years, the best ethical advice may even come from an app on our phones.

Both the European Commission and Pentagon approach leave that possibility open.

It wouldn’t mean the profound ethical problems raised by artificial ethics had been solved, though. They will never be solved – because they do not have a single, certain solution.

This article originally appeared on Real Clear Defense. Follow @RCDefense on Twitter.

popular

5 boring details a Space Force private will get stuck on

The Space Force is presumed to be exactly like our current military. Over-the-top recruitment videos will only lead to utter disappointment, just like any other branch. “You’ll get to see the world,” the recruiter will promise, but we all know you’ll probably just be seeing it from a desk back on Earth. Even in many years when the need for space infantrymen comes up, it’ll still be filled with all the same BS that happens down here.

Think about it. There will still be NCOs and officers who will still need to bide their time until closeout formation. The only difference will be that it’ll take place 254 miles above the Earth’s surface. And how will latrines work? Who will clean them?!

You know the answer.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough
(NASA)

That’s just from man-made stuff… then you have to worry about the stardust

1. Literally cleaning the ship absolutely spotlessly

Remember those novelty “space pens” that you can find at souvenir shops? The joke on the back is that America spent a butt load of cash trying to get a pen that could write upside-down and with zero-G’s but those crafty Russians just used a pencil. Hate to burst that bubble but no one uses pencils in space for a very specific reason.

Any bit of dust or flakes caused by just regular everyday things, like pencil shavings, could mess with electrical systems while it’s floating around in space.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

You can’t honestly expect lieutenants to clean up after themselves when there are privates available, now can you?

2. Vacuuming all that stardust

Of course no one down here can see it, but space is actually pretty filthy. There’s plenty of dust on the outside the atmosphere from when the universe was formed and we can’t go around with an unclean space ship. Most of it is microscopic but NASA astronauts regularly have to clean the dust or else it gets everywhere.

Any spacewalk done will suck in plenty of that minuscule specs of dust whenever the bay-doors open. When the astronaut comes back into the oxygen-filled area, the dust will follow. And some poor space private will have to vacuum all that up.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough
(NASA)

I want this globe spotless or no one is being released.

3. Police calling space debris

All of this is just to clean up the inside of ship — there’s also the outside. Satellites and other man-made debris deteriorate eventually and even a 1cm paint flake could zoom low orbit faster than a bullet. Those flakes can rupture panels and cause all sorts of hell on the ship.

This problem is magnified with even larger pieces of debris, like a baseball sized scrap of metal hitting anything at 4.76 miles per second. To prevent Newton’s Second Law (force is equal to the mass times acceleration) from obliterating everyone on board, it’s up to the space privates to handle it.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough
(NASA)

Good luck finding that ONE serial number for the change of command layout.

4. Container organizing… but in zero Gs

At first, it seems like this would be so much easier in space. You wouldn’t have to lift heavy things because it’s near weightless now. And astronauts are notorious about taking only what they need into space. But that’s the silver-lining. Trying to tie things down and organizing things to take up as little space as possible is the real problem.

A space private’s Tetris skills will be checked as there isn’t any room for open space.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough
(NASA)

Imagine losing a wrench and sending it soaring into Earth’s atmosphere.

5. Repairing the exterior of the ship

There is a diminishing return on enjoyment. The first time you go on a space walk, it’ll be beyond your wildest expectations. Your 1,348th time going on a space walk to scrub the stardust off the window because the Colonel is coming won’t be as great.

Even more high-stress would be making repairs on the spaceship. Any minor mistake and either you die alone or everyone gets sucked into the vacuum of space.

MIGHTY CULTURE

This is how the military gets ready to deploy anywhere in the world in 18 hours

Typically, troops get their orders to deploy many months in advance. In times of stability, you’re looking at twelve months gone and then twelve months at home. Everyone in the unit has ample time to get their ducks in a row before heading off to war.

But when sh*t hits the fan, the United States Armed Forces can gear up entire brigade-sized elements of troops and put boots on the ground in just under eighteen hours.

Now, getting troops ready to go isn’t the hard part — troops usually keep a rucksack packed and a rifle on standby in the arms room. It’s the logistical nightmare that comes with transporting all of the required gear that makes this feat truly impressive.


Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

At any moment, the Currahee are ready to drop in like it was D-Day all over again.

(U.S. Army photo by Major Kamil Sztalkoper)

In the Army, brigades that are officially ready to deploy are called Division Ready Brigades. In the Marine Corps, they’re called Marine Expeditionary Units. To be certified as one of these units, there are several requirements, including pre-deployment training, gear staging, and mountains of paperwork.

The 506th Regimental Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, KY, earned “reactionary force” status in 2007 and, impressively, has maintained it ever since.

“The purpose of the division ready brigade is to quickly move Soldiers and equipment to support emergency situations requiring DoD support,” said Col. Thomas Vail, the then-506th RCT commander told the Fort Campbell Courier. “We are well prepared for this task in terms of leadership, Soldier discipline, and staff expertise. The 506th RCT has conducted rehearsals and back briefs just like any combat mission tasked to the brigade.”

They earned this by staging a mock deployment to get everyone, including their gear and vehicles, ready to go to Fort Irwin’s National Training Center. All vehicles needed to be staged, all artillery guns needed to be prepped, and all connexes had to be packed with everything they’d need within 72 hours of landing.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

These Marines are always on call… Ready to be tagged in.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Scott Pittman)

To remain ready, some units have pre-staged gear that they never touch. As you can imagine, having and stashing gear only to be used for rapid deployment requires cash — which, unfortunately, isn’t in excess for many units.

The Marines, however, have always been known for doing more with less. In this case, they do this by keeping their Marines on a fifteen month cycle: they spend nine months training stateside and six months aboard a Navy vessel offshore.

They strategically place their Marines on the Naval vessels nearest to where they expect to be fighting and stay ready to hop onto landing crafts at any moment. The Marines of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit take this one step further by remaining permanently forward-deployed out of Okinawa.

Maj. Jacob R. Godby, the 31st MEU assistant operations officer, said,

“The size of our AO requires us to train for a wide variety of missions which requires an extensive range of equipment and the best trained Marines anywhere. In Okinawa, we have the resources and training grounds that allow us to train for almost any mission we could be tasked with. MEUEX allows us to begin putting the pieces together as we move closer to embarking for our next patrol.”

It’s a logistical headache, but it’s a challenge that only the most intense units have been able to successfully pull off. If there’s crisis in need of the U.S. Armed Forces, these guys can be there within the day, letting other troops bring in the rest of the gear after them to establish a more permanent presence.

MIGHTY TACTICAL

Military wants ‘vision enhancement’ for combat troops

The Pentagon wants a new style of sophisticated protective eyewear that features adjustable vision enhancement so Marines and soldiers can identify and sight in on targets more quickly than ever before.

The goal of Vision Enhancement for the Dismounted Soldier is to “enhance natural eyesight to aid in visual detection, identification, and acquisition of targets, friendlies, and other items of interest that would otherwise be obscured or difficult to see in military relevant environments with the unaided eye,” according to a Sept. 24, 2018 solicitation posted on the government website for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which is designed to encourage small businesses to engage in federal research and development.


The research effort is looking to defense firms to present designs that “take into consideration the pupil location of the individual wearer, as needed, to optimize performance and compatibility with weapon technologies,” the solicitation states.

“Hands-free activation (such as voice command) is also of interest, but not necessary for the purposes of this effort. In the event of power loss, imaging shall revert to an unaided mode for unobstructed vision,” the document states. “Ultimately, the objective of the effort is to increase lethality and survivability through enhanced vision, and faster target detection and identification times, of persons and items of interest in military environments, without limiting capabilities naturally afforded by unaided vision.”

Currently, soldiers and Marines rely on a combination of natural vision and optical aids such as scopes, binoculars, image intensifiers and thermal imagers to enhance combat vision.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

Soldiers observe the impact zone during a howitzer live-fire exercise at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany, Jan. 17, 2018.

(Army photo by Markus Rauchenberger)

“Donning and doffing of individual visual aids takes time and are impractical in situations when seconds count,” according to the solicitation.

The effort, however, is not intended to duplicate or replace current weapons’ optics and other sensors, it states.

The program is searching for concepts that:

  • Reduce time needed to detect targets or friendly forces as compared to performance when relying on unaided vision.
  • Ensure natural vision is not degraded in the event of power failure.
  • Ensure performance is reasonably stable in different operating environments, such as temperatures, lighting conditions and humidity levels.
  • Minimize distracting or confusing images that may decrease situational awareness, such as unwanted reflections, glare, ghost images, erratic flickering and image distortion.

Companies wishing to participate have until Oct. 24, 2018, to submit proposals, the solicitation states.

The document does not provide a timeline, contract awards or fielding goals except to say that phase one deliverables shall include monthly reports and conceptual drawings and designs.

Phase two deliverables include schematics and 12 working prototypes of spectacles or goggles.

“End item cost shall be considered early on,” the solicitation states. “Target cost is 0 or less (with an ultimate goal of 0 or less once in production).”

The target weight of the entire system — including batteries — is less than 3 ounces if a “spectacle platform is chosen” and less than 6 ounces if a “goggle platform is chosen,” the solicitation states.

“The ability to enhance vision and increase lethality shall be validated through testing,” according to the solicitation.

This article originally appeared on Military.com. Follow @militarydotcom on Twitter.

MIGHTY TRENDING

US Navy finds smoking gun that points to Iran in latest tanker attack

The US is accusing Iran of carrying out attacks on two tankers just outside the Strait of Hormuz, a critical waterway through which more than 30% of the world’s seaborne crude oil passes, and the US Navy has reportedly discovered an unexploded mine that may very well be evidence of Iran’s culpability in June 13, 2019’s attacks.

The USS Bainbridge, a US warship deployed to the Middle East, spotted a limpet mine on the side of one of the two tankers hit on June 13, 2019, CNN reported, citing a US defense official. Another defense official confirmed the discovery to Fox News, telling reporters that “it’s highly likely Iran is responsible.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said June 13, 2019, that Iran was responsible for the attacks, an announcment that briefly spiked US West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures up to $52.88 per barrel, or 3.4% from the day’s start.


He did not provide specific evidence for the accusations but said US conclusions were “based on the level of expertise for the execution, and recent attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.”

The limpet mine spotted by the US Navy was reportedly discovered on the Kokuka Courageous, one of two tankers targeted. Twenty-one sailors rescued from the damaged ship are aboard the USS Bainbridge, an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer that was operating nearby and called in to assist.

A limpet mine is an explosive with a detonator that can be attached to the hull of a ship using magnets, and Iranian forces are believed to have used these weapons in an attack on four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in May. While the US has blamed Iran for the attacks, Tehran, Iran’s capital, has repeatedly denied any involvement.

The UAE determined an unnamed “state actor” was behind the tanker attacks and concluded “it was highly likely that limpet mines were deployed.”

There has been some debate about who was behind the latest attacks, with one official telling ABC News that “we’re not pointing to Iran, but we’re not ruling anything out at this time.” Another official asked the media outlet, “Who else could it be?”

U.S. Blames Iran for Tanker Attacks in Gulf of Oman

www.youtube.com

Iran used mines heavily during the Tanker Wars in the late 1980s.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who may have been briefed on the situation, was quick to pin the blame on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, telling reporters: “I saw some press accounts today sort of saying it’s not clear who did it. Well, it wasn’t the Belgians. It wasn’t the Swiss. I mean, it was them. They’re the ones that did it. We’ve been warning about it.”

In early May 2019, the US began deploying military assets to the Middle East as a deterrence force in response to intelligence indicating that Iran was planning attacks on US interests. The US has so far sent a carrier strike group, a bomber task force, a missile-defense battery, and a number of other capabilities into the US Central Command area of responsibility.

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

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 TACTICAL

5 of the worst weapons projects the US military has in the works

The US military, together with its industry partners, makes some of the finest weapons in the world, but the programs that produce them rarely run as smoothly as intended.

Some of the most problematic of the military’s recent projects belong to the US Navy.

The big problem for the Navy is that the service, just as other branches of the military have in the past, has rushed to develop platforms before the required technologies were ready, Bryan Clark, a naval affairs expert, told Business Insider, pointing to the new Zumwalt-class destroyers and the Ford-class supercarriers.

“We still have technology that is not fully mature even though the ship has been delivered,” he said, advising the service to slow things down and mature the technology rather than build an entire platform around an idea.


This issue is not unique to the Navy though. The Army is rethinking innovation at the newly-established Army Futures Command in the wake of past development failures, such as the Comanche helicopter or Crusader self-propelled artillery.

Here are 5 troubled projects the US military is desperately trying to get sorted right now.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

Three F-35Cs.

(U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon E. Renfroe)

1. F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter

“The F-35 program and cost is out of control,” then-President-elect Donald Trump tweeted on Dec. 12, 2016.

US Air Force Lt. Gen Chris Bogdan briefed Trump on the F-35 program a week later. The presentation highlighted the program’s “troubled past,” which includes premature production problems, ballooning costs, delivery delays, and numerous technical challenges, among other issues, The Drive reported.

The Air Force presentation concluded that it is “difficult to overcome a troubled past, but [the] program is improving.” Still problems persist.

The Pentagon’s latest operational testing and evaluation assessment noted continued reliability and availability issues. And, according to Bloomberg, the lifetime program cost for the world’s most expensive weapons program has grown to id=”listicle-2638634792″.196 trillion.

Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan has colorfully described the F-35 program as “f—ed up.”

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000)

(US Navy)

2. Zumwalt-class destroyer

The US Navy has invested two decades and tens of billions of dollars into the development of these advanced warships, which lack working guns and a clear mission.

The two 155mm guns of the Advanced Gun System are incredibly expensive to fire. One Long-Range Land Attack Projectile costs around id=”listicle-2638634792″ million. Procurement was shut down two years ago, leaving the Zumwalt without any ammunition.

The guns never provided the desired range anyway, so now the Navy is talking about possibly scrapping the guns entirely.

The Zumwalt has also struggled with engine and electrical problems, as well as a potential loss of stealth capabilities due to the use of cost-saving bolt-on components.

While the Navy had planned to field more than 30 Zumwalt-class destroyers, the service now plans for only three.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

The USS Independence, a Littoral Combat Ship.

(U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon Renfroe)

3. Littoral Combat Ship

The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), sometimes referred to as the “Little Crappy Ship,” has suffered from uncontrolled cost overruns, delivery delays, and various mechanical problems.

The Navy has pumped around billion over roughly 20 years into this project, which was started to create an inexpensive vessel that was small, fast, and capable of handling a variety of missions in coastal waterways.

The LCS was specifically designed to carry out anti-submarine warfare, mine countermeasure, and surface warfare missions in contested littoral waters, but there have been a lot of problems with the modular mission packages designed to be loaded aboard.

There are also concerns that the ships are not survivable in high-intensity conflict and that they are not sufficiently armed to perform their missions, according to the most recent Department of Defense operational testing and evaluation assessment.

While the Navy initially aimed to build a fleet of 55 ships, the LCS order has since been reduced to 35. The Navy, which has struggled to deploy the ships it already has, is currently looking at new missile frigates to replace the LCS.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

USS Gerald R. Ford

(United States Navy)

4. Ford-class aircraft carrier

The billion USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier continues to suffer from a variety of problems even as the Navy moves forward with plans to build more Ford-class supercarriers.

The Ford was expected to be delivered to the fleet this summer, but delivery has been delayed until at least October due to persistent problems with the weapons elevators and the propulsion system.

This is not the first time the powerful ship has been delayed.

This massive flattop has also had problems with the basic requirements of an aircraft carrier, launching and recovering planes. The most recent Department of Defense assessment called attention to the “poor or unknown reliability of systems critical for flight operations.”

President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized, occasionally at inappropriate times, the new electromagnetic catapults, which still don’t work correctly. Just as he was critical of the rising F-35 costs, Trump has also frequently slammed the ballooning costs of the Ford-class carriers.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

An artist rendering of a railgun aboard a US Navy surface vessel.

(US Navy)

5. Electromagnetic naval railgun

The problem with the railgun was that the Navy began pouring time and money into research and development without really considering whether or not the weapon was a worthwhile investment militarily.

The railgun, which the Navy has invested more than a decade and over 0 million in developing, suffers from rate of fire limitations, significant energy demands, and other troubling technological problems that make this weapon a poor replacement for existing guns or missile systems.

“It’s not useful military technology,” Clark previously told Business Insider. “You are better off spending that money on missiles and vertical launch system cells than you are on a railgun.”

Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson described the railgun project as a lesson in what not to do during a talk earlier this year. When asked about the program, the best answer he could offer was: “It’s going somewhere, hopefully.”

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

MIGHTY CULTURE

For US troops, service-connected hearing loss is a big problem

Ed Timperlake was VA assistant secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs from 1989 to 1992, and served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a fighter pilot and squadron commander.

One of the little-known facts of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is that the nature of combat wounds has changed dramatically.


For most of human history, the most common combat wound was a piercing injury. Primitive spears, the Roman gladius, medieval lances and bullets all create piercing wounds, and battlefield medicine was largely focused on treating these types of injuries.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

As an assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs during the George H. W. Bush administration, I saw up close how VA health care responded to the after-effects of these combat wounds. But in the years since, veteran care reflects an entirely new and complex type of injury.

A study published in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery in 2012 noted that between 2005 and 2009 — the early years of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — nearly three in four combat wounds were the result of “explosive mechanisms.” This fact was reflected in the Iranian missile attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq last month, which resulted in 109 troops sustaining varying degrees of head injuries.

Most of these troops have returned to duty, but one of the most common and least seen aspects of these injuries is hearing loss. The auditory sense is highly vulnerable to explosive mechanisms and, unlike most of the human body, many tissues associated with hearing do not regenerate themselves. When they are destroyed, they are destroyed forever. Tinnitus, otherwise known as ringing in the ears, while less serious than absolute hearing loss, is still harmful in the long term and is pervasive among troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Hearing loss is personal for my family. One of my nieces was born with significant hearing loss, and another is pursuing her doctorate at Gallaudet University, developing better ways to accurately test and address hearing loss. My own hearing has been degraded due to military noise. I can never forget the roar that reverberated through my head the first time I was catapulted from the deck of an aircraft carrier. As a young Marine Corps fighter pilot, the “scramble orders” I and my squadron mates received in response to threats from Cuban MiGs resulted in ear-shattering experiences with every sortie, for months at a time.

Today, more than 1.25 million veterans suffer from hearing loss, with nearly two million suffering from tinnitus. Combined, they represent the top two service-connected disabilities addressed by the VA. To its credit, the VA is doing a good job of addressing the problem with hearing conservation programs and high-tech hearing aids.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough

But the Defense Department is playing catch-up on the issue. After having issued faulty hearing protection to active-duty forces over the past decade, leading to countless cases of unnecessary hearing loss, the Pentagon is now testing several different styles of hearing protection for troops in the field, and confidence is high that the next generation of combat hearing protection will represent a substantial improvement.

Once these troops muster out of uniform and transition to veteran status, a large part of the challenge in helping these vets with hearing loss is technological. Low-cost hearing aids that simply amplify sound do little good, often making background noise too loud to provide any meaningful improvement in hearing conversation, music and other audible intelligence.

The private sector is making good progress on developing and improving this technology with Bluetooth capabilities and even fitness trackers, offering hope to veterans with hearing loss as they re-acclimate to civilian life.

The prospects for better hearing protection and improved service to veterans with hearing loss and tinnitus is encouraging. But we have to keep our eye on the ball to make sure our warfighters get the combat gear they need, and that veterans receive the care they earned through their sacrifice.

This article originally appeared on Military.com. Follow @militarydotcom on Twitter.

Articles

The British soldier who used German air raids to become a serial killer

The bravery and resilience of most who survived the Luftwaffe attacks during Germany’s World War II Blitz over London is beyond reproach. But let’s face it, some people are a–holes. Gordon Cummins is one of those.


Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough
Photo: Youtube

For the duration of the Blitz, the city’s populace was forced to shelter in darkness. Blackout curtains were placed over windows, smoking outside was banned in parts of the city, and the electricity was sometimes shut off to ensure no light could escape to provide German bombers a target.

For criminals with absolutely no patriotism or scruples, this was an ideal opportunity. Cummins was a Royal Air Force pilot in training in London in Feb. 1942 when something went sideways in his head and he began killing women in the blacked-out city.

The first victim was discovered on the morning of Feb. 9 in an air raid shelter in the West End area. Evelyn Hamilton was found gagged with a scarf and strangled to death. Her handbag and all her money were also stolen.

The very next day another woman was discovered. Evelyn Oatley was a prostitute and former chorus girl found in her apartment, nude, strangled, and viciously slashed across her abdomen with a can opener which was left at the scene.

Investigators didn’t find a new victim on Feb. 11, but any relief was short-lived as they found two on Feb. 13. Margaret Lowe had been missing since Feb. 10. Like Oatley, she was a prostitute and was discovered mostly nude, gruesomely mutilated, and thoroughly strangled.

The other victim found on Feb. 13 was Doris Jouannet. Jouannet was an elderly woman and prostitute. When her husband came home in the morning, he tried to enter their flat but it was barricaded from the inside. He called the police, who forced their way in to find Jouannet mostly nude, slashed with a razor, and dead from strangulation.

The London press knew of the murders and panic descended upon the city. Since three of the victims were prostitutes, it was assumed that group were the most at risk from “The Blackout Ripper.” While the blackouts protected most of the city from the worst of the German raids, it left the ladies of the night completely unprotected from Cummins.

Forced to continue earning a living, the women pressed on with their work. On Feb. 14, Cummins approached Greta Hayward and attempted to murder her in an alley, but as she was succumbing to his strangulation, a delivery boy happened by. He startled Cummins, who fled, accidentally dropping his gas mask as he ran.

Later that night, Cummins attempted to attack another prostitute, Kathleen Mulcahy. He solicited Mulcahy and followed her to her flat. When he attempted to kill her, she fought him off so hard and raised such a ruckus that he again had to flee into the night, this time dropping his belt. Oddly, he left an extra £5 because he may have been a serial killer, but he was also a good tipper.

Cummin’s gas mask was marked with the pilot’s serial number, so investigators proceeded to his lodging where they arrested the him. Cummins maintained his claims of innocence, but investigators found a number of mementos including a watch, a cigarette case, stockings from each victim, and more.

Cummins was tried for the murder of Evelyn Oatley on Apr. 27 and given the death penalty. Rather than try him for his other murders and attempted murders, the state executed him on Jun. 25. In a darkly humorous twist, he was executed during a German air raid.

(h/t Cracked podcast)

MIGHTY TRENDING

Russia will be happy to see US troops leave Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he welcomes U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent pledge to pull U.S. troops out of Syria “very soon” now that the Islamic State (IS) militant group has been largely defeated there.

Lavrov told reporters in Moscow on April 2, 2018, that Russia had recently seen what he called “worrisome” signs that U.S. troops were “getting deeply entrenched” in areas east of the Euphrates River that they recently helped liberate from IS.


Trump’s statement late March 2018, shows that “he is committed at least to the previous promises the United States will leave Syria after victory over the Islamic State,” Russian state-run news agency TASS quoted Lavrov as saying.

Russia and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have been urging the United States for months to pull its 2,000 or so troops out of Syria, maintaining that their presence on Syrian territory is a violation of international law.

Assad frequently points out that he did not invite U.S. troops to join the seven-year civil war like he did when he invited Russian forces in 2015, and Iranian forces and militias since the beginning of the war in 2011.

In response to Russia’s calls to leave Syria, top U.S. officials have said they intended to keep U.S. troops there as long as needed to protect U.S. allies in the war-torn country and ensure that IS does not make a comeback in its former Syrian strongholds.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough
A poster of Syria’s president at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Damascus.

(Photo by Elizabeth Arrott)

Former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who Trump fired in March 2018, citing significant policy differences, argued in January 2018, that U.S. forces must remain engaged in Syria not only to prevent IS and al-Qaeda from returning, but to deny Iran a chance to “further strengthen its position in Syria.”

Pentagon leaders have made similar statements. Defense Department spokesman Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway said on April 2, 2018, that “our mission has not changed… We are continuing to implement the president’s strategy to defeat [IS].”

But Trump’s statement on March 29, 2018 — telling supporters in the U.S. state of Ohio that “we’ll be coming out of Syria, like, very soon. Let the other people take care of it now” — suggested Trump may be thinking differently about Syria than some of his top advisers.

In another sign Trump may be mulling a pull-out, The Wall Street Journal recently reported that he is holding up $200 million in U.S. funding earmarked to go toward stabilizing areas of eastern Syria recaptured from IS.

Watch this C-130 pilot get inverted at Farnborough
President Donald Trump
(Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Lavrov’s comments welcoming Trump’s eagerness to leave Syria come as Russia and Syria have been clearing out the last remnants of armed rebel groups that once largely controlled the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta through a series of negotiated pull-outs.

The Russian military and Syrian state media reported on April 2, 2018, that the largest rebel group, Jaish al-Islam (Army of Islam), has started evacuating from the area’s last holdout town, Douma.

The SANA news agency said two buses carrying the rebels left Douma heading for Jarablus, a town in north Syria shared between rebels and Turkish forces.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitoring group, also reported that the last rebels are leaving Douma, handing Syria and Russia their biggest potential win since they regained control of Syria’s largest city, Aleppo.

Do Not Sell My Personal Information