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We're Not Sure Whether To Laugh Or Cry At This Display Of 'Powered Armor' In Ghana
Ever since Robert Heinlein introduced the world to the fascist future of intergalactic warfare with 1959's Starship Troopers, the world has been fixated on seeing the powered armor he envisioned become a reality.
Heinlein's powered armor comes in many shapes and sizes. Call it an exoskeleton like the U.S. Army does or an 'Iron Man' suit like the minds behind U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit occasionally do. But everyone loves the idea of skimming enemy territory with jet-assisted leaps and bounds, your Y-rack firing out small H.E. bombs every couple hundred yards while looking like, in Heinlein's words "a big steel gorilla, armed with gorilla-sized weapons.
The bizarre garbage pile that the Ghanian military trotted out last month is the complete opposite of that.
During the 38th annual Technology Exhibition in the country's capital of Accra, a notoriously shady Ghanian auto magnate rolled out what appear to be, ostensibly, powered exoskeletons designed to give the warfighter of the future an edge. First spotted by The War Zone, the kits are apparently comprised of shoulder-mounted automatic rifle turrets (think War Machine), gauntlet-mounted arm cannons, and bright green armor panels held together by a latticework of hydraulic tubes.
At first glance, the rig almost —almost — looks like an up-armored version of the Interceptor Multi-Threat Body Armor System used by the U.S. armed forces in the 1990s.
But let's be real: This get-up actually looks like someone spray-painted a bunch of cardboard and a motorcycle helmet and slapped them on some poor idiot on parade. This isn't powered armor; it's a shitpile on par with Iran's latest stealth fighter.
FULL VIDEO: APOSTLE KWADWO SARFO UNVEILS ANOTHER BIG MILITARY ARMORED CAR www.youtube.com
Then again, why am I surprised? As The War Zone expertly points out, the man behind these contraptions appears completely batshit insane:
It certainly says something about the man behind these creations, The Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo Kantanka, founder of both the Kantanka Group of Companies and his Pentecostal Church, the Kristo Asafo Mission of Ghana. A 2016 Jalopnik profile on Katanka and his automotive interests, which is worth reading in full, makes it clear that its unclear why and when he dubbed himself an apostle or started referring to himself as a "doctor."
In addition to the automotive arm, Kantanka Group has a long history of producing similar military "innovations," including a wooden "attack helicopter" and something that defies description and has features that appear ripped from an airplane and a trailer-mounted anti-aircraft gun. Even the vehicles that look more realistic in their basic design have obviously fake weapons and other "advanced" features.
I respect the moxie it takes to trot out some military-industrial spectacle. But when it comes to actually making the powered armor of your dreams a reality, The Apostle Dr. Kwadwo Safo Kantanka is no Robert Heinlein. Hell, he's not even a Tony Stark; if anything, he's probably a Justin Hammer:
Iron Man 2 | 'You Want My Property,You Can't Have It' Scene | (2010) Movie Clip 2K youtu.be
WATCH NEXT: You Can Finally Watch The Army's 'Third Arm' Exoskeleton In Action
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
You can almost smell the gunpowder in the scene captured by a Marine photographer over the weekend, showing a Marine grunt firing a shotgun during non-lethal weapons training.
A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.
Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.