Earlier this year, six Marines and two Nepalese soldiers died on a humanitarian mission in Nepal when their UH-1Y Huey helicopter crashed.
The Marines had been assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and were deployed to the region to provide assistance to the people of Nepal in the aftermath of a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake and 7.3 magnitude aftershock that reportedly left 9,000 dead.
The Americans lost in the crash included the aircraft’s pilots, Capt. Christopher Norgen and Capt. Dustin R. Lukasiewicz. The fallen members of the helicopter’s crew were Sgt. Ward M. Johnson IV and Sgt. Eric Seaman. A combat photographer, Cpl. Sara Medina, and a combat videographer, Lance Cpl. Jacob Hug, also died.
Earlier this month, the Marine Security Guard detachment at the U.S. Embassy in Nepal dedicated a room to the fallen Marines. They called the room “Vengeance Hall” after the helicopter’s call sign. Medina’s camera gear and memory card were recovered at the scene of the crash. The Marine Corps produced a video around the dedication of Vengeance Hall that included her last photographs.
The images show the kind of high-stakes humanitarian work that the Marines were sent to Nepal to conduct.
The images show the Marines working with Nepalese military forces to provide help to the sick and the injured.
In many ways, these photographs depict the best of the Marine Corps: a complex and expeditionary humanitarian mission, working hand-in-hand with other countries, and professional fighting men and women who were doing their jobs expertly and thanklessly. In this image, the reflection of the wreckage can be seen in the visor of one of the fallen Marine sergeants.
Here, one of the aircraft’s pilots, Capt. Dustin R. Lukasiewicz, readies the aircraft from the cockpit.
Ultimately, Medina’s incredible final photographs do more than offer haunting images of an ill-fated flight. They show the resilience of humanity in the face of incredible suffering.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."