Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
This F-16 Cockpit Video Captures Fantastic Ultra Low-Level Flying Over Japan
If there’s one thing better than watching a low-level fly-by from the ground, it’s watching from the pilot’s perspective.
That’s the gist of this fantastic footage of a U.S. Air Force F-16 conducting low-flying training in Japan. Released by the 35th Fighter Wing stationed at Misawa Air Base, the cockpit video captures the aircraft careening across the frozen landscape.
Sure, it’s not the same was watching aircraft scream through the unusual network of deep valleys in the United Kingdom known as the “Mach Loop,” but the footage is pretty titillating nonetheless. More importantly, as the Aviationist’s David Cenciotti points out, it’s a nice reminder of how essential these maneuvers can be under wartime conditions:
During normal training activities, flying lower than 2,000 feet can be useful when weather conditions are such to require a low-level leg to keep visual contact with the ground and VMC (Visual Meteorological Conditions). However, it’s when they are committed to the real stuff, including special operations, reconnaissance, Search And Rescue, troops or humanitarian airdrops in troubled spots around the world, that pilots may need to fly at ultra-low altitudes to prevent detection or to survive an engagement by enemy fighter planes or missiles.
Indeed, the casual observer of U.S. military operations abroad likely doesn’t consider the need for nimbleness that aircraft face in enemy territory. After all, the campaigns against the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria have been largely marked by U.S. air supremacy: a non-stop downpour of munitions, with the occasional (lol) air-to-air kill.
But with the DoD increasingly focused on looming threats from Russia in Eastern Europe and North Korea in the Pacific, concerns about air defense and air superiority are back on the table. A November 2017 assessment by the Congressional Research Service noted that the North Korean Air Force possesses a fleet of 1,300 Soviet-era aircraft — as well as “a dense, overlapping air defense system of SA-2, SA-3, and SA-5” surface-to-air missile batteries — challenges that haven’t really factored into the Global War on Terror.
“In theatre [Afghanistan or Iraq], we normally operate at higher altitudes. However, even in the most complex scenarios, flying low remains an option when you need to evade threats,” one Italian Air Force pilot told The Aviationist. “[But] even more so when you fly the Tornado, an aircraft that has been designed to fly at treetop altitude: terrain masking is an option you can rely on.”
Smart, and interesting! The 35th Fighter Wing needs a new soundtrack, though:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States will leave "a small peacekeeping group" of 200 American troops in Syria for a period of time after a U.S. pullout, the White House said on Thursday, as President Donald Trump pulled back from a complete withdrawal.
Trump claims border wall is under construction 'right now' using fence repair footage from 5 months ago
With a legal fight challenge mounting from state governments over the Trump administration's use of a national emergency to construct at the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has kicked his push for the barrier into high gear.
On Wednesday, President Trump tweeted a time-lapse video of wall construction in New Mexico; the next day, he proclaimed that "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW"
But there's a big problem: The footage, which was filmed more than five months ago on Sep. 18, 2018, isn't really new wall construction at all, and certainly not part of the ongoing construction of "the wall" that Trump has been haggling with Congress over.
Group of American vets detained in Haiti on weapons charges brought back to US, arrested upon landing
A group comprised of former U.S. military veterans and security contractors who were detained in Haiti on weapons charges has been brought back to the United States and arrested upon landing, The Miami-Herald reported.
The men — five Americans, two Serbs, and one Haitian — were stopped at a Port-au-Prince police checkpoint on Sunday while riding in two vehicles without license plates, according to police. When questioned, the heavily-armed men allegedly told police they were on a "government mission" before being taken into custody.
The Army allegedly missed this soldier's stomach cancer for 4 years. His widow wants someone to answer for it
The widow of a soldier whose stomach cancer was allegedly overlooked by Army doctors for four years is mounting a medical malpractice lawsuit against the military, but due to a decades-old legal rule known as the Feres Doctrine, her case will likely be dismissed before it ever goes to trial.
Hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War have repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital
In an uh-oh episode of historic proportions, hand grenades from the last major battle of the Revolutionary War recently and repeatedly scrambled bomb squads in Virginia's capital city.
Wait – they had hand grenades in the Revolutionary War? Indeed. Hollow iron balls, filled with black powder, outfitted with a fuse, then lit and thrown.
And more than two dozen have been sitting in cardboard boxes at the Department of Historic Resources, undetected for 30 years.