U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Votel is a four-star general, current commander of U.S. Central Command, and former commander of U.S. Special Operations Command. Col. William F. Guile is a fictional Air Force commander of the multinational forces looking to oust insane Gen. M. Bison from the fictional Southeast Asian nation of Shadaloo City in the beloved 90s video-game-staple Street Fighter. What do they have in common? They both fucking love stealth boats.
On July 27, CENTCOM tweeted a sweet photo of Gen. Votel cruising around the United Arab Emirates in a Combatant Craft Assault boat, the multi-mission stealthy speedboat designed for “inserting and extracting SOF in low-to-medium threat environment” and lauded as a “modern, clandestine, agile, adaptive, and operationally capable maritime craft” in a unclassified SOCOM briefing.
Unveiled by defense contractor Oregon Iron Works Marine in 2014, the CCA boat was designed to replace the smaller MkV Special Operations Craft and Naval Special Warfare Rigid Inflatable Boats. According to The War Zone, the little jaunt was likely part of a small task force assigned to SOCOM Central to advise member nations from the Gulf Cooperation Council.
A small stealth craft … loaded up with special operations forces … flitting around a geopolitically unstable area? Sounds almost exactly like this bit from the god-awful 1994 live-action Street Fighter movie where the late, great Raul Julia uses a fucking arcade-style video game booth to blow Guile, Cammy, and T-Hawk out of the waters of Shadaloo. Don’t play dumb — you know exactly what I’m talking about:
Upon closer inspection, Votel does sort of look like Jean-Claude Van Damme’s Guile — if the Muscles from Brussels spent less time focusing on his biceps and more time building a reputation for both candor and loyalty.