Tensions riding high, pilots riding low.

(Russian Fencer buzzes the USS Cook. Article by Jim Garamone of American Forces Press Service. 14 APR 2014.)

A Russian attack aircraft repeatedly flew near the USS Donald Cook in international waters in the Black Sea on April 12, a Pentagon spokesman said.

The USS Cook was patrolling in the western Black Sea when an unarmed Russian Su-24 Fencer attack aircraft repeatedly flew near the Navy ship, Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters.

"The aircraft did not respond to multiple queries and warnings from Donald Cook, and the event ended without incident after approximately 90 minutes," Warren said. "This provocative and unprofessional Russian action is inconsistent with international protocols and previous agreements on the professional interaction between our militaries."

Two Russian aircraft were present, but only one took part in the provocative actions, Warren said. The aircraft flew from near sea level to a couple of thousand feet, he added, but never overflew the U.S. Arleigh Burke-class destroyer.

"The Russian plane made a total of 12 passes," he said.

The wingman stayed at a considerably higher altitude, Warren said.

Officials later said the aircraft approached within about 1,000 yards of the ship. The USS Cook was never in danger. ”The Donald Cook is more than capable of defending itself against two Su-24s,” the colonel said.

Warren said he does not think this is an example of a young pilot joyriding. “I would have difficulty believing that two Russian pilots, on their own, would chose to take such an action,” he said. “We’ve seen the Russians conduct themselves unprofessionally and in violation of international norms in Ukraine for several months, and these continued acts of provocation and unprofessionalism do nothing to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine, which we called on the Russians to do.”

The Cook arrived in the Black Sea on April 10. The ship is now making a port call in Constanta, Romania.

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Late Night Nookie #soldierporn: Showboating.
U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets deploy heat flairs during a combat patrol in support of ground troops in Afghanistan. Trust between joint terminal attack controllers and pilots serves as an important aspect of close air support missions.
(Photo by Staff Sergeant Aaron Allman, 15 DEC 2008.) High-res

Late Night Nookie #soldierporn: Showboating.

U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets deploy heat flairs during a combat patrol in support of ground troops in Afghanistan. Trust between joint terminal attack controllers and pilots serves as an important aspect of close air support missions.

(Photo by Staff Sergeant Aaron Allman, 15 DEC 2008.)

Evening Quickie #soldierporn: Old Tom.
An F-14D Tomcat prepares for an arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt as the guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto conducts plane guard duties in the Persian Gulf. Roosevelt and embarked Carrier Air Wing 8 were underway on a regularly scheduled deployment conducting maritime security operations. This was the last active service deployment for the Tom. The F-14 entered active service with the US Navy in 1972, and was retired in 2006. The only other country that operates this specific airframe is the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF). 
(U.S. Navy photo by Airman Apprentice Nathan Laird, 6 JAN 2006.) High-res

Evening Quickie #soldierporn: Old Tom.

An F-14D Tomcat prepares for an arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt as the guided-missile cruiser USS San Jacinto conducts plane guard duties in the Persian Gulf. Roosevelt and embarked Carrier Air Wing 8 were underway on a regularly scheduled deployment conducting maritime security operations. This was the last active service deployment for the Tom. The F-14 entered active service with the US Navy in 1972, and was retired in 2006. The only other country that operates this specific airframe is the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF). 

(U.S. Navy photo by Airman Apprentice Nathan Laird, 6 JAN 2006.)

Prowls the gloaming.
A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet maneuvers into position for aerial refueling during combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The multi-role, carrier-capable fighter entered active service in 1978.
(Photo by Staff Sergeant Andy Kin, 25 NOV 2010.) High-res

Prowls the gloaming.

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet maneuvers into position for aerial refueling during combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The multi-role, carrier-capable fighter entered active service in 1978.

(Photo by Staff Sergeant Andy Kin, 25 NOV 2010.)

Fighter Friday: All the preppy pretty birds in the sky.
A U.S. Navy F/A-18C strike fighter receives fuel from the aerial refueling drone of an Air Force KC-10 Extender aircraft assigned to the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron during combat operations over Afghanistan.
(Photo by Staff Sergeant Jason Robertson, 17 JUN 2009.) High-res

Fighter Friday: All the preppy pretty birds in the sky.

A U.S. Navy F/A-18C strike fighter receives fuel from the aerial refueling drone of an Air Force KC-10 Extender aircraft assigned to the 908th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron during combat operations over Afghanistan.

(Photo by Staff Sergeant Jason Robertson, 17 JUN 2009.)

Does not yield right of way.
A CH-53E Super Stallion approaches to land on the flight deck of USS Bataan (LHD 5) during a training exercise. Bataan is the flagship for the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
(U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Aaron T. Kiser, 5 APR 2014.) High-res

Does not yield right of way.

A CH-53E Super Stallion approaches to land on the flight deck of USS Bataan (LHD 5) during a training exercise. Bataan is the flagship for the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

(U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Aaron T. Kiser, 5 APR 2014.)

SOLDIER STORIES: Ingenious levels of lazy. 
An SH-60F Sea Hawk helicopter from the Chargers of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 14 lifts off the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), the Navy’s only permanently forward deployed aircraft carrier. 
(Photo by Seaman Apprentice Rachel Hatch, 12 NOV 2009. Story reproduced from reddit, posted by TupperWolf. Source.)

I was once on a US military ship, having breakfast in the wardroom (officers lounge) when the Operations Officer (OPS) walks in. This guy was the definition of NOT a morning person; he’s still half asleep, bleary eyed… basically a zombie with a bagel.
He sits down across from me to eat his bagel and is just barely conscious. My back is to the outboard side of the ship, and the morning sun is blazing in one of the portholes putting a big bright-ass circle of light right on his barely conscious face. He’s squinting and chewing and basically just remembering how to be alive for today. It’s painful to watch.


But then zombie-OPS stops chewing, slowly picks up the phone, and dials the bridge. In his well-known I’m-still-totally-asleep voice, he says “heeeey. It’s OPS. Could you… shift our barpat… yeah, one six five. Thanks.” And puts the phone down. And then he just sits there. Squinting. Waiting.
And then, ever so slowly, I realize that that big blazing spot of sun has begun to slide off the zombie’s face and onto the wall behind him. After a moment it clears his face and he blinks slowly a few times and the brilliant beauty of what I’ve just witnessed begins to overwhelm me. By ordering the bridge to adjust the ship’s back-and-forth patrol by about 15 degrees, he’s changed our course just enough to reposition the sun off of his face. He’s literally just redirected thousands of tons of steel and hundreds of people so that he could get the sun out of his eyes while he eats his bagel. I am in awe.
He slowly picks up his bagel and for a moment I’m terrified at the thought that his own genius may escape him, that he may never appreciate the epic brilliance of his laziness (since he’s not going to wake up for another hour). But between his next bites he pauses, looks at me, and gives me the faintest, sly grin, before returning to gnaw slowly on his zombie bagel.


High-res

SOLDIER STORIES: Ingenious levels of lazy. 

An SH-60F Sea Hawk helicopter from the Chargers of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 14 lifts off the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), the Navy’s only permanently forward deployed aircraft carrier.

(Photo by Seaman Apprentice Rachel Hatch, 12 NOV 2009. Story reproduced from reddit, posted by TupperWolf. Source.)

I was once on a US military ship, having breakfast in the wardroom (officers lounge) when the Operations Officer (OPS) walks in. This guy was the definition of NOT a morning person; he’s still half asleep, bleary eyed… basically a zombie with a bagel.

He sits down across from me to eat his bagel and is just barely conscious. My back is to the outboard side of the ship, and the morning sun is blazing in one of the portholes putting a big bright-ass circle of light right on his barely conscious face. He’s squinting and chewing and basically just remembering how to be alive for today. It’s painful to watch.

But then zombie-OPS stops chewing, slowly picks up the phone, and dials the bridge. In his well-known I’m-still-totally-asleep voice, he says “heeeey. It’s OPS. Could you… shift our barpat… yeah, one six five. Thanks.” And puts the phone down. And then he just sits there. Squinting. Waiting.

And then, ever so slowly, I realize that that big blazing spot of sun has begun to slide off the zombie’s face and onto the wall behind him. After a moment it clears his face and he blinks slowly a few times and the brilliant beauty of what I’ve just witnessed begins to overwhelm me. By ordering the bridge to adjust the ship’s back-and-forth patrol by about 15 degrees, he’s changed our course just enough to reposition the sun off of his face. He’s literally just redirected thousands of tons of steel and hundreds of people so that he could get the sun out of his eyes while he eats his bagel. I am in awe.

He slowly picks up his bagel and for a moment I’m terrified at the thought that his own genius may escape him, that he may never appreciate the epic brilliance of his laziness (since he’s not going to wake up for another hour). But between his next bites he pauses, looks at me, and gives me the faintest, sly grin, before returning to gnaw slowly on his zombie bagel.

Vacationing in exotic locales.

Riverine command boats assigned to Commander, Task Group (CTG) 56.7, navigate through the coastal waters of Bahrain, in the Arabian Gulf. Riverine command boats provide a multi-mission platform for the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility by focusing on maritime security operations, maritime infrastructure protection, and theater security cooperation efforts, in addition to offensive combat operations.

(U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Martin Cuaron, 4 MAR 2014.)