Posts Tagged ‘MArine Corps’

Heinz: Joint Strike Fighter Program ‘Aggressive,’ but Balanced

December 14, 2008

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Despite a recent report that warns of burgeoning costs in the Joint Strike Fighter program over the next six years, the program’s deputy executive officer argues that the aircraft’s development is supposed to be more aggressive than legacy aircraft and called it a “fundamental fallacy” to rigidly compare the JSF to F/A-18 and F/A-22 aircraft, reports Inside Defense.

Read the full report at www.insidedefense.com (paid subscription required)

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Refueling Operation Flintlock

December 13, 2008

Find this and other exciting images as posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

 

Two 100th Air Refueling Wing aircrews recently provided air refueling in support of Operation Flintlock, a joint military exercise in Bamako, Mali which concluded Nov. 20. 

According to a release by United States Africa Command Public Affairs, “The principal purpose of Flintlock is to assist partner nations to establish and develop military interoperability and strengthen regional relationships, in support of future combined humanitarian, peacekeeping and disaster relief operations. It includes participants from the Trans-Saharan nations and the U.S. as well as advisors from multiple European countries.” 

The exercise also included the first Air Force Special Operations Command CV-22 Osprey oceanic crossing, according to Lt. Col. Bruce McNaughton, 100th ARW director of staff, and aircraft commander of one of the KC-135 Stratotankers (from RAF Mildenhall) taking part in the mission. 

The Osprey is a self-deployable aircraft providing increased speed and range over other rotary-wing aircraft which enable AFSOC aircrews to execute long-range special operations missions, according to an Air Force fact sheet. 

The Osprey can perform missions that normally require both fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft. It takes off vertically, and once airborne, the nacelles (engine and pro-rotor group) on each wing can rotate into a forward position. 

Max Blumenfeld, Operation Flintlock public affairs officer, wrote in an e-mail that the 352nd Special Operations Group’s MC-130s and the CV-22s are “significant platforms for an ongoing effort in the Trans-Sahara region for regional cooperation and security. Flintlock is an established SOF exercise which continually builds from experiences gained from previous Flintlocks and its smaller scale version; Silent Warrior.”

After launching from Lajes-Field, Azores, Portugal, Oct. 22, Colonel McNaughton and his aircrew refueled a 352nd SOG aircrew’s MC-130 – also from RAF Mildenhall – which in turn refueled the CV-22s. 

“I call it, ‘Slowin’ down the gas,'” said the aircraft commander. “Having that middleman (the MC-130) slows the refueling down (passing fuel from one aircraft to another then to another). We weren’t able to refuel the CV-22 directly; we used a boom to refuel the (SOG aircraft), then that aircraft used a probe and drogue system to refuel the CV-22. We do have that capability, but primarily use it for Navy jets; our drogues aren’t designed to operate at lower speeds.” 

The colonel explained that he and his aircrew met face to face with the MC-130 and CV-22 pilots in Lajes-Field, so they could brief them before the refueling took place. 

“We’ve refueled MC-130s before, but the question arose as to whether the Ospreys could keep up with us, and where they were physically going to be while we refueled the MC-130,” he said. “The briefing beforehand allowed us to iron out those problems and find solutions.” 

On Colonel McNaughton’s aircraft there were four crewmembers and three crew chiefs; three crewmembers flew on the other KC-135 from RAF Mildenhall. 

The co-pilot, 1st Lt. Jeff Lascurain, 351st Air Refueling Squadron, said he’d never seen or worked a mission with the Osprey aircraft before. 

“It’s always cool to see a new type of aircraft on your wing,” he said, explaining that during the refueling the Ospreys were positioned off the left wing, about one mile out. 

“I was on the right-hand side of the plane, so my best view of the CV-22s was as we were making our turn to rejoin with the MC-130 and CV-22 formation,” he said. 

Colonel McNaughton said he had no idea his scheduled mission would turn into helping refuel the new AFSOC aircraft. 

“We usually have a one-day run to Lajes-Field each week, and I volunteered for that particular week – and it turned into this,” he said. “It was a hoot being part of it.” 

Mr. Blumenfeld said the mission was evidence of the importance of aerial refueling. 

“The CV-22 ‘s range is dependent on your efforts and thus provides it that ‘far reach’ capability as evidenced by its transatlantic flight,” he wrote. “This reach capability is important due to the fact that Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara is conducted over a geographic area the size of (the continental United States).” 

He also said the exercise is the result of great interagency communication and coordination. 

Flintlock “has geo-political impact as the exercise involves African partner nations as well as European partner nations such as Germany, the Netherlands and the UK,” he explained.

Weak Economy Drives Military Enlistment

December 13, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

In 2008, as the stock market cratered and the housing market collapsed, more young members of the Army, Air Force and Navy decided to re-up. While several factors might explain the rise in re-enlistments, including a decline in violence in Iraq, Pentagon officials acknowledge that bad news for the economy is usually good news for the military.

In fact, the Pentagon just completed its strongest recruiting year in four years, reports the Houston Chronicle.

John McCain Foresees Afghanistan Surge Success

December 9, 2008
Naval Calendar 2009

Naval Calendar 2009

The US Navy destroyer USS John S. McCain graces the front of our TEAMultimedia Naval Calendar 2009. Our Naval Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US Navy and allied naval forces in action. Buy the Naval Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

“Here in Afghanistan and in neighboring Pakistan we’re at a tough place, but we have confidence that working with our allies here, working with the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan, with the new effort and the new resources that will be brought in we can conclude these fights as successfully as we’re progressing in Iraq,” US Senator John S. McCain said while touring war-torn Afghanistan. Read the complete article.

F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter

December 3, 2008

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter or JSF is the next-generation multirole strike fighter aircraft of the US Air Force, US Navy, and US Marine Corps.

Find this and other exciting images as posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

E/A-6B Prowler

December 1, 2008

The E/A-6B Prowler is the electronic combat aircraft of the US Navy and the US Marine Corps. The Navy is currently replacing its Prowlers with the new E/A-18G “Growler”, an electronic warfare variant of the USN’s F/A-18 Hornet. The USMC will continue to fly the EA-6B growler for their electronic combat missions.

Find this and other exciting images as posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

V-22 Osprey Excels in Africa and Iraq

November 30, 2008

The CV-22 Osprey has made its operational debut with the US Air Force Special Operations Command AFSOC.  Several CV-22 deployed to Africa in November to participate in the anti-terrorism exercise Flintlock 09. The MV-22 Osprey variant has already served in Iraq with the US Marine Corps USMC.

Find this and other exciting images as posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

An Osprey success story

October 24, 2008
AFSOC CV-22 Osprey

AFSOC CV-22 Osprey

The US Air Force Special Operations Command AFSOC has been operating its new CV-22 Osprey special operations tiltrotor aircraft since October 2008. You can own one of these legendary CV-22 Osprey special operations tiltrotor aircraft. Choose the poster, a framed art print, a 12-month 2009 calendar, or even a greeting card set. Find all your AFSOC CV-22 Osprey art gifts at http://www.cafepress.com/TEAMultimedia/838250The PatriArt Gallery. Or if you prefer the AFSOC CV-22 Osprey tee-shirt, beer stein, or other souvenir items, visit http://www.cafepress.com/TEAMultimedia/843205The Military Chest.

After a troubled history, the V-22 Osprey – half-helicopter, half-plane – has been ferrying troops and equipment across Iraq for just more than a year without a major incident.

Critics say the Osprey, which was designed to replace transport helicopters, lacks firepower for defense in heavy combat.

But pilots say the Osprey makes up for that in speed, which one of them says can take the plane “like a bat out of hell” to altitudes safe from small-arms fire.

Since arriving at the sprawling Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq, a dozen Ospreys have been ferrying troops and equipment at forward operating bases. One even took Barack Obama around during his tour of Iraq in the summer.

But on only a handful of occasions has the aircraft faced serious enemy fire.

Military officials say that is partly a result of the changing nature of the war in Iraq, as well as the advantages the high-flying Osprey.

Read the complete Osprey story in the Philadelphia Enquirer

Pentagon envisions spaceship troops

October 17, 2008
Death Glider

Death Glider

Worthy of a Stargate SG-1 episode — US Air Force F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighters and a USAF B-2 Spirit stealth bomber become death gliders in this artist enhanced image. If you’re a Sci Fi fan, you’ll want the Deathglider Tee-Shirt.

The Pentagon wants to rocket troops through space to hot spots anywhere on the globe within two hours, and planners spent two days last month discussing how to do it, military documents show.

Read more about the Rocket Rangers at USA Today

Recruiting bonuses grow by 25 percent

October 9, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

Our military Aviation Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US and allied military aircraft in action. Buy the Aviation Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

The US Army and Marine Corps paid nearly $640 million in recruitment bonuses during Fiscal Year 2008 — as much as $40,000 per recruit. All told, the enlistment incentives coupled with the promise of thousands more for education, increased the costs of Army and Marine bonuses by 25 percent over last year’s totals, The Associated Press has learned.

Is the military getting its money’s worth? Read Lolita Baldur’s article.