Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The Netherlands accidentally welcomed its first operational F-35 with a foam bath
Nothing makes a celebration like bubbles — sort of.
The Royal Netherlands Air Force welcomed its first operational F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter at the country's Leeuwarden Air Base on Thursday, but instead of the traditional water cannon salute, two E-ONE fire trucks opted to douse the hyper-expensive aircraft with firefighting foam.
The War Zone, which first spotted the strange welcome, notes that the official Dutch air force release makes no mention of any sort of mistake. Indeed, the official photos show 323 Test & Evaluation Squadron pilot Ian Knight exiting the aircraft while it's still dripping with suds.
(Royal Netherlands Air Force)
(Royal Netherlands Air Force)
So what happened? According to Reddit user krijgnog5eurovanje, the Leeuwarden AB fire department "was on standby for the water salute when they were called to an actual emergency with an F-16 ... When they returned for the water salute they forgot to switch from 'foam' to 'water.'"
It's unclear what F-16 emergency took place at Leeuwarden AB at the same time as this ceremony, if any. But ironically, the F-16 was apparently on everyone's mind as the new F-35A rolled up at Leeuwarden AB on Thursday: Dutch State Secretary for Defense Barbara Visser made a direct comparison in her remarks welcoming the fifth-generation airframe to her country's arsenal.
"A little over 40 years ago, the first Dutch F-16 was welcomed here. It was called 'the aircraft of the future,'" Visser said. "While the F-16 used a computer-controlled operating system for the first time, computers and software play such a major role with the F-35 that it is sometimes called a flying laptop. That means a huge change in our work. "
Visser may not show it, but the Royal Netherlands Air Force is extremely excited about its new jet. Just take it from Lt. Col Laurens-Jan 'Sjoak' Vijge, who described his first flight simply: "Holy crap!"
"For a moment I feel that teenager on a very cool skateboard in Florida," Vijge said in the release. "This device goes like a rocket."
Translation: We celebrated the new F-35 with a trip to the champagne room:
Chris Rock - No Sex ft. Shadow www.youtube.com
BANGKOK (Reuters) - The United States and South Korea said on Sunday they will postpone upcoming military drills in an effort to bolster a stalled peace push with North Korea, even as Washington denied the move amounted to another concession to Pyongyang.
The drills, known as the Combined Flying Training Event, would have simulated air combat scenarios and involved an undisclosed number of warplanes from both the United States and South Korea.
An opening ceremony will be held Monday on Hawaii island for a military exercise with China that will involve about 100 People's Liberation Army soldiers training alongside U.S. Army counterparts.
This comes after Adm. Phil Davidson, head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, spoke on Veterans Day at Punchbowl cemetery about the "rules-based international order" that followed U.S. victory in the Pacific in World War II, and China's attempts to usurp it.
Those American standards "are even more important today," Davidson said, "as malicious actors like the Communist Party of China seek to redefine the international order through corruption, malign cyber activities, intellectual property theft, restriction of individual liberties, military coercion and the direct attempts to override other nations' sovereignty."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday told North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to "act quickly" to reach a deal with the United States, in a tweet weighing in on North Korea's criticism of his political rival former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, who has met Kim three times since 2018 over ending the North's missile and nuclear programs, addressed Kim directly, referring to the one-party state's ruler as "Mr. Chairman".
In his tweet, Trump told Kim, "You should act quickly, get the deal done," and hinted at a further meeting, signing off "See you soon!"
It is impossible to tune out news about the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump now that the hearings have become public. And this means that cable news networks and Congress are happier than pigs in manure: this story will dominate the news for the foreseeable future unless Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt get back together.
But the wall-to-wall coverage of impeachment mania has also created a news desert. To those of you who would rather emigrate to North Korea than watch one more lawmaker grandstand for the cameras, I humbly offer you an oasis of news that has absolutely nothing to do with Washington intrigue.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will return three captured naval ships to Ukraine on Monday and is moving them to a handover location agreed with Kiev, Crimea's border guard service was cited as saying by Russian news agencies on Sunday.
A Reuters reporter in Crimea, which Russian annexed from Ukraine in 2014, earlier on Sunday saw coastguard boats pulling the three vessels through the Kerch Strait toward the Black Sea where they could potentially be handed over to Ukraine.