Here's what it looks like when the Navy shoots down a cruise missile - We Are The Mighty
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Here’s what it looks like when the Navy shoots down a cruise missile

Cruise missiles are a nightmare for combatants at land or on sea. They fly low enough that most ballistic missile protections can’t touch them, they often hit at nearly the speed of sound — meaning they strike with no warning — and they can take out ships, tanks, and other large vehicles in a single hit.


Just take this test of the Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile striking a target at a range in California. Watch how the missile skims the waves and an island before spotting its target and slamming through it.

And while cruise missile development slowed after the end of the Cold War, China and Russia are pursuing new missiles with plenty of international partners.

Russia and India are perfecting the Brahmos, which flies at nearly three times the speed of sound. Meanwhile, China is fielding the DH-10, capable of delivering an 11,000-pound warhead against a garage door-sized target.

So, the Navy has been working on expanding their defenses against anti-ship cruise missiles. In a 2015 test, they pitted the USS John Paul Jones, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer equipped with the Aegis combat system, against a mix of cruise and ballistic missiles.

Here’s what it looks like when the Navy shoots down a cruise missile
As part of a joint Missile Defense Agency/U.S. Navy missile defense test, an AQM-37C cruise missile target was launched from an aircraft July 31 west of Kauai, Hawaii. The USS John Paul Jones, positioned west of Hawaii, detected, tracked, and launched a SM-6 Dual I missile, resulting in a successful target intercept. This was the third event in a series of joint Missile Defense Agency/U.S. Navy missile defense tests. (Photo: Missile Defense Agency Ralph Scott)

In the video (available at the top of the page), the Jones engages and destroys a series of targets. The cruise missile engagement begins at approximately 5:20.

While the test is a great step towards securing American sailors from the threats posed by cruise missiles, the Navy still has a lot of ground to cover if it wants the upper hand in a missile-based conflict on the high seas in the near future.

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This pilot landed his F-15 with only one wing

The F-15 is an amazing aircraft that was designed to go head-to-head with the Soviet’s MiG-25 and was the top dog for years, most notably during Desert Storm where American and Saudi Eagles took it to the Iraqis in a big way.


The F-15 has endured because its design was years ahead of its time, and a great data point behind that fact is the time Israeli pilot Zivi Nedivi landed his jet with only one wing. Nedivi had one of his wings sheared off in a midair collision with an A-4 Skyhawk during a training event. Nedivi’s Eagle went into a rapid roll by the crash and he told his navigator to prepare the eject.

Nedivi turned on his afterburners in an attempt to stabilize the jet. The move worked. After his aircraft stabilized, he decided to attempt to land at a base 10 miles away. Because of the fuel coming from the damaged fuselage, neither he nor his wingman knew that the F-15 was missing a wing.

Hear the rest of this amazing story from Nedivi himself in this video:

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This Israeli attraction has tourists engage in ‘counterterrorism’

Israel is a country that has been facing terrorism long before 9/11 awakened America to the threat. Now, though, some have capitalized on it by creating what one could call counterterrorism tourism.


According to a video by Business Insider, the tourism takes place at a training center in the West Bank that was established in 2003 during a Palestinian uprising. The training compound, Caliber 3, is designed to look like an open-air market. In 2009, it opened for tourism.

Here’s what it looks like when the Navy shoots down a cruise missile
A Krav Maga lession at the IDF’s paratrooper school in Israel.

That might sound surprising, since in most countries, the tourism is all about showing off highlights. The purpose is to show what life is really like in Israel. However, this gives a chance for civilians to see what many counter-terrorism operatives go through – including the split-second life or death decisions that have to be made.

For the price of $115 for an adult and $85 for a child, people get a chance to see what life is really like in Israel. Among the experiences offered is the chance to thwart a terrorist attack. These have become all too common, not just in Israel, but also in Europe. Adults can even fire live ammo.

Here’s what it looks like when the Navy shoots down a cruise missile
Officers with the Kfir Brigade practice fighting in built-up areas. (Israeli Defense Forces photo)

Tourist will also learn much about the Israeli Defense Forces, including their values. The camp is used to train security guards and commandos. In essence, it explains that while life in Israel can be beautiful, the reality is that they are still living in an active combat region, and there are certain things that people have to know how to do.

The Business Insider video is available below:

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The Warrior Games create an amazing community for recovery

We Are The Mighty had the great privilege of attending the 2016 DoD Warrior Games to support wounded warriors as they competed with their fellow servicemembers.


The DoD Warrior Games is an adaptive sports competition for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans. Each year, a different branch of the U.S. Armed Forces hosts the Warrior Games — and this year the Army invited the athletes to compete at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

The Warrior Games has athletes representing the Army; Navy; Air Force; Marine Corps; SOCOM and the United Kingdom, competing across several events: sitting volleyball; track and field; archery; wheelchair basketball; shooting and swimming.

Comedian and veteran advocate Jon Stewart emcee’d the Opening Ceremony.

“You are not alone, none of us here are alone,” said Rocky Marciano of Team SOCOM. “This has been a ten-day therapy session for me and I love it.”

Adaptive sports programs have proven to be an excellent form of rehabilitation for service members, providing these wounded warriors with an incredibly supportive community that focuses on performing at a high level despite injuries and illnesses.

The United Kingdom’s participation has been particularly impactful since they’ve been invited to the Warrior Games for the past four years. Brian Seggie of Team UK remarked, “If we’re on the same side, we should not only fight on the same side, we should recover together as well.”

This remarkable community is made possible by the efforts of each branch’s Wounded Warrior program, dedicated sponsors like Deloitte who bring in dozens of volunteers, enthusiastic family and friends and the incredible attitudes of each and every servicemember with the determination to keep moving forward.

The 2017 DoD Warrior Games will be hosted by the Navy in Chicago.

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Watch a WWII Vet nail 3 head shots from over a half-mile away

Ted Gundy was in his teens when he fought at the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. He had been selected for the role of sniper after reporting to his unit in Belgium just before the German attack that would become the Battle of the Bulge, and he provided sniper cover for his rifle company during the battle.


At 86 years-old, Gundy heard about modern snipers hitting shots at over 1,000 yards and decided he wanted to take a shot at that range. He contacted Shooting USA — which set up the event on his behalf — getting him an invitation to shoot at Fort Benning with a sniper team from the Army Marksmanship Unit that has won two international sniper competitions.

Gundy takes three shots at 300 yards with a replica of his 1903 Springfield A-4 Sniper Rifle from the war before taking another three shots at 1,000 yards with a more modern rifle. (If you just want to see the longest shots, skip to 6:10 in the video below).

Shooting USA has the full story behind the event with Gundy here.

NOW: Video: Iraq war vet relives his most intent gunfight

OR: The Air Force wants to shoot bad guys with laser guns

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Here’s the billion dollar barrier that separates Israelis from the Palestinians

For decades, Israelis and Palestinians have fought one another to claim land to which they both believe they’re entitled. Over the years, the two have committed violent acts against one another with hopes of, one day, winning out.


Both sides want to control the land and enjoy their fundamental human rights.

In 2002, the Government of Israel approved the building of a barrier wall around the West Bank to prevent violent attacks by the Palestinians.

Related: Over 1/4 of this unique island is made up of US military

Depending on which side of the wall you live on, it’s referred to by many names. In Israel, the wall is called a security barrier, whereas in Palestine, they call it an apartheid.

Here’s what it looks like when the Navy shoots down a cruise missile
Israel Security Forces near the West Bank wall. (Source: Meals Ready to Eat, KCET)

Today, the wall stands over two stories tall and runs a span of 400 kilometers. Though the wall keeps Israelis and Palestinians physically separated, there’s one thing that helps bring people together: hope that the wall is temporary.

Here’s what it looks like when the Navy shoots down a cruise missile
An inhabitant of Shiloh is escorted away by law enforcement. (Source: Meals Ready to Eat, KCET)

However, some people are looking to keep the two groups separated — the inhabitants of Shiloh, for example, a Jewish settlement built and occupied in the middle of the West Bank. Those who call this area home believe it’s their land, though that contradicts international law and the viewpoints of the U.N.

Small settlements like this exist for both sides of the conflict, harboring extremists who don’t think others have the right to live in the area. As a result, the locals lash out, attacking families and their farms, causing the conflict to grow worse as time progresses.

Also Read: This Marine veteran uses this special ingredient to boost his men’s morale

But not everyone is out to do harm. Check out the sixth full episode of We Are The Mighty’s original show, Meals Ready to Eat, below and watch peaceful farmers grow their agriculture so close to a barrier that separates two rival populations.

 

(Meals Ready to Eat | KCET)New episodes of Meals Ready to Eat are posted on KCET’s site every Wednesday night. And they’re awesome.
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This is how a ship’s crew eats during combat

When ships are fighting, the battles can take a long time. To give one example, the battle between a German wolfpack and convoy ONS 92 lasted from May 11 to May 14 — three days of constant ASW. Combat can take a toll on a crew, but so can not eating.


Back in World War II, the usual plan was to fix the crew sandwiches they could eat at action stations, usually with some (typically strong) Navy coffee. That tends to help — but sandwiches and strong coffee aren’t exactly the most nutritious of choices.

Here’s what it looks like when the Navy shoots down a cruise missile
HDMS Iver Huitfeldt, the lead ship of the class HDMS Peter Willemoes is in. (Wikimedia Commons)

 

Today, it runs a little differently, given the higher expectations that sailors have about their food. Let’s look at one of the newest warships in the Danish Navy, the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes. This frigate is powerful, carrying 32 RIM-66 SM-2 surface-to-air missiles, up to 16 RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, 24 RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles, a pair of 76mm guns, and a 35mm close-in weapon system. It also can operate a MH-60R helicopter and carry up to 165 personnel.

So, how can they quickly feed that crew, while still keeping a combat edge? Well, for one thing, the crews don’t get a lunch hour — they get six minutes to eat. That restriction means that the cooks can fix that meal and clean everything up in a grand total of 74 minutes.

 

As a result, that crew is refueled and ready to take on the enemy, whether in the air, on the surface, or underwater. The video below helps show how this is done – quickly and efficiently, so this ship can fight!

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These were the terrifying dangers of being a ‘Tunnel Rat’ in Vietnam

If fighting the well-defended Viet Cong on their home turf wasn’t dangerous enough, imagine having to crawl your way through a series of extremely tight and narrow underground tunnels to capture or kill them.


Armed with only a flashlight, a single pistol, or maybe just a knife, a “Tunnel Rat” didn’t have much in the way of defense.

“The most dangerous part would be psyching up to get into the tunnel,” Carl Cory says, a former 25th Infantry Div Tunnel Rat. “That was the part that was most frightening because you didn’t what you were getting into.”

Related: This video shows the ingenuity behind the Viet Cong tunnel systems

Here’s what it looks like when the Navy shoots down a cruise missile
Sgt. Ronald H. Payne, a Tunnel Rat, bravely searches a tunnel’s entrance during Vietnam War. (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

In 1946, the Viet Minh were the Viet Cong resistance fighters who began digging the tunnels and bunkers to combat the French, whom they would eventually defeat.

By the time the Vietnam War broke out, the Viet Cong had over 100-miles of tunnels with which to spring deadly ambushes on American and South Vietnamese forces before vanishing.

The numerous spider holes (as the tunnel entrances were sometimes called) were conveniently located and well camouflaged — nearly impossible to detect.

Also Read: American troops tried to find Viet Cong tunnels using witching rods

It was the duty of the brave Tunnel Rat to slide alone into the tunnel’s entrance then search for the enemy and other valuable intelligence. Due to the intense and dangerous nature of the job, many Tunnel Rats became so emotionally desensitized that entering a spider hole was just another day at the office — no big deal.

Here’s what it looks like when the Navy shoots down a cruise missile
Sgt. Ronald A. Payne searches a Vietnamese tunnel armed with only a flashlight and a pistol. (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

With danger lurking around every corner, the Tunnel Rat not only had to dodge the various savage booby traps set by the Viet Cong, but typically only carried 6-7 rounds of ammunition with him even though the tunnels were commonly used to house up to a few dozen enemy combatants.

With all those physical dangers to consider, the courageous troop still needed to maintain a clear and precise mental state of mind and not let the fear get the best of him.

After completing a search, many American and South Vietnamese units would rig the tunnels with C-4 explosives or bring in the always productive flamethrowers to flush out or kill any remaining hostiles.

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These roving robots are helping to improve hostage rescue training

Hostage rescue is one of the most dangerous missions special operations troops can be assigned to.


One of the big reasons: You have to pull your punches, lest you accidentally kill the people you’re there to rescue. You have to be very stealthy, or you will be detected and the bad guys will kill the hostages. You must move quickly, or the bad guys will kill the hostages.

But it’s hard to find people who want to be in the middle of training for hostage rescue. The answer, according to one DoD release, may be to use robots.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians with the 27th Special Operations Wing conducted some hostage rescue training using the robots this past December – and some of it was caught on video:

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Check out the celebrities we spoke to at the 2016 MTV Movie Awards

WATM’s Skye P. Marshall took us to the red carpet of the 2016 MTV Movie Awards – held this year at Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, California. Marshall snagged interviews with Bellator MMA fighters, the New York hip-hop trio Salt-N-Pepa, Blake Anderson of Workaholics fame, and even a surprise interview with 2016 MTV Movie Awards host Kevin Hart!

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WATCH: Seal sniper recalls competing for kills with ‘legend’ Chris Kyle

Kevin “Dauber” Lacz was a new-guy Navy SEAL sniper on his first deployment to Iraq when he served alongside Chris Kyle as one of the infamous “Punishers” of Cadillac Platoon, Task Unit Bruiser, in the 2006 Battle of Ramadi. Kyle, whose teammates in SEAL Team 3 dubbed him “The Legend,” holds the record in the US military for most confirmed kills with at least 150.

Kyle mentored Lacz in Ramadi, and the SEALs forged an unbreakable bond of brotherhood that carried on long after both men left the Navy. Kyle wrote about their friendship in his bestselling memoir American Sniper, and after Kyle was killed in 2013, Lacz helped further immortalize his friend, working as an adviser on the Oscar-nominated adaptation of Kyle’s memoir and playing himself in the film.

In 2016, Lacz published The Last Punisher: A SEAL Team THREE Sniper’s True Account of the Battle of Ramadiand Kyle appears frequently in the book. While Ramadi was Lacz’s first combat tour, it was Kyle’s third and also his most lethal.

Read Next: What It Means To Be a Navy SEAL

The Legend’s Silver Star citation for his actions in Ramadi tells the story: “During 32 sniper overwatch missions, he personally accounted for 91 confirmed enemy fighters killed and dozens more probably killed or wounded.”

In this promotional video for The Last Punisher, Lacz, who now works as a physician assistant and runs the nonprofit Hunting for Healing, recalls what it was like working alongside The Legend during sniper overwatch missions in Ramadi.

Disclosure: The author of this article co-authored The Last Punisher with Lacz.

Kevin “Dauber” Lacz was a new-guy Navy SEAL sniper on his first deployment to Iraq when he served alongside Chris Kyle as one of the infamous “Punishers” of Cadillac Platoon, Task Unit Bruiser, in the 2006 Battle of Ramadi. Kyle, whose teammates in SEAL Team 3 dubbed him “The Legend,” holds the record in the US military for most confirmed kills with at least 150.

Kyle mentored Lacz in Ramadi, and the SEALs forged an unbreakable bond of brotherhood that carried on long after both men left the Navy. Kyle wrote about their friendship in his bestselling memoir American Sniper, and after Kyle was killed in 2013, Lacz helped further immortalize his friend, working as an adviser on the Oscar-nominated adaptation of Kyle’s memoir and playing himself in the film.

Here’s what it looks like when the Navy shoots down a cruise missile
Kevin Lacz, left, and Chris Kyle after an awards ceremony. Photo courtesy of Kevin Lacz.

In 2016, Lacz published The Last Punisher: A SEAL Team THREE Sniper’s True Account of the Battle of Ramadiand Kyle appears frequently in the book. While Ramadi was Lacz’s first combat tour, it was Kyle’s third and also his most lethal.

The Legend’s Silver Star citation for his actions in Ramadi tells the story: “During 32 sniper overwatch missions, he personally accounted for 91 confirmed enemy fighters killed and dozens more probably killed or wounded.”

In this promotional video for The Last Punisher, Lacz, who now works as a physician assistant and runs the nonprofit Hunting for Healing, recalls what it was like working alongside The Legend during sniper overwatch missions in Ramadi.

Disclosure: The author of this article co-authored The Last Punisher with Lacz.

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