Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
You Can Finally Watch Footage Of The First US Air-To-Air Kill In 18 Years
On June 18, F/A-18E Super Hornet pilot Lt. Cmdr. Michael “Mob” Tremel shot down a Sukhoi Su-22 during a close-air support mission in the skies above Syria, the first U.S. air-to-air kill since 1999. And although Tremel delivered a riveting first-person account of the shoot down during a Sept. 10 symposium, you can now witness the dogfight with your own eyes.
Here’s the clip, as seen through the ATFLIR targeting modules affixed to the front of each Hornet.
Aaaaaaaaand boom goes the dynamite.GIF via Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 31/DoD
The footage of the shoot down shows up partway through a 14-minute cruise video from Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 31 (also known as the “Tomcatters”), released to mark the end of VFA-31’s deployment to the Middle East with the USS George H.W. Bush’s Carrier Air Wing 8 as part of Operation Inherent Resolve. The War Zone, which first surfaced the cruise video on Sept. 20, notes that Tremel is actually a pilot with the VFA-87 "Golden Warriors,” but footage of the shootdown makes an appearance regardless.
Repeated radio calls to the Su-22, a Cold War-era attack jet designed to strike targets on the ground, went unheaded. According to The Drive, even after Tremel “thumped” the aircraft three times — which means flying over the jet and popping flares — the warnings were ignored. As the Su-22 came within striking distance and began to dive, it released its ordnance, which landed near U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.
Tremel — cleared under the rules of engagement — locked onto the Su-22 with an AIM-9X Sidewinder and fired, but the Sukhoi popped flares. “I lose the smoke trail and I have no idea what happened at that time,” Tremel said at the symposium. Despite the venerable Sidewinder’s rep as a highly advanced piece of ordnance, the infrared-guided missile was drawn away by flares.
The enemy bird was still in the air and still a threat to friendly forces on the ground, so it was time to “try something different,” Tremel recounted. He switched to the slightly slower-to-arm, radar-guided AIM-120 AMRAAM, and cut loose with one. “It’ll do its job,” Tremel said. And it did. The AMRAAM struck the rear of the Su-22 and exploded. As the aircraft pitched and then plummeted to the earth, the pilot ejected.
The whole incident lasted less than eight minutes, and the Su-22’s last moments start around 6:10 in the full video below, but the entire sizzle reel is worth a watch.
The White House doctor still under investigation for doling out pills like a ‘candy man’ is now running for Congress
Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician and retired Navy rear admiral who had a short run as the nominee for the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2018, now plans to run for a seat in Congress.
University of Phoenix to pay $191 million for lying to troops about its close ties with major companies
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The University of Phoenix, which is owned by Apollo Education Group, has agreed to pay $191 million to settle charges that it falsely advertised close ties with major U.S. companies that could lead to jobs for students, the Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday.
The University of Phoenix will pay $50 million to the FTC to return to consumers and cancel $141 million in student debt.
Some of the advertisements targeted military and Hispanic students, the FTC said.
As UCF research associate Shane Reynolds guides his avatar over a virtual minefield using his iPad, small beeps and whistles reveal the location of the scourge of the modern war zone: Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs. He must take his time to sweep every last inch of the playing field to make sure his character doesn't miss any of the often-deadly bombs.
Despite his slow pace, Reynolds makes a small misstep and with a kaboom! a bomb blows up his player, graphically scattering body parts.
The Navy has posthumously awarded aviator and aircrewman wings to three sailors killed in last week's shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
"The selfless acts of heroism displayed by these young Sailors the morning of Dec. 6 are nothing short of incredible," Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. Daniel Dwyer said in a statement.