You Can Finally Watch Footage Of The First US Air-To-Air Kill In 18 Years

news
Photo via Navy Strike Fighter Squadron 31/DoD

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.

Here’s how Tremel described the incident earlier this month, per Task & Purpose’s James Clark:

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.

An Oregon Air National Guard F-15C Eagle that made an emergency landing on Wednesday ditched its entire arsenal of live air-to-air missiles before touching down at Portland International Airport, The War Zone reports.

Read More Show Less

Several hundred U.S. troops will remain in Syria after allied forces clear ISIS fighters out of their last stronghold in the country, officials said on Friday.

President Donald Trump announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but Sen. Lindsey Graham has since made a strong push to keep a small residual force along the Turkish border along with troops from European allies.

Read More Show Less
Chris Osman (Photo: _chris_osman_designs/Instagram)

The former Navy SEAL among a group of eight men arrested earlier this week in Port-au-Prince on weapons charges says he was providing security work "for people who are directly connected to the current President" of Haiti.

"We were being used as pawns in a public fight between him and the current Prime Minister of Haiti," said Chris Osman, 44, in a post on Instagram Friday. "We were not released we were in fact rescued."

Read More Show Less
Former Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis (DoD photo)

A Richland, Washington city councilman thinks native son Jim Mattis would make a terrific governor or even president.

Read More Show Less

It's a photo for the ages: a Marine NCO, a Greek god in his dress blues, catches the eye of a lovely young woman as her boyfriend urges her on in distress. It's the photographic ancestor of the much-loved "distracted boyfriend" stock photo meme, made even sweeter by the fact that this is clearly a sailor about to lose his girl to a Devil Dog.

Well, this photo and the Marine in it, which hopscotched around Marine Corps Facebook and Instagram pages before skyrocketing to the front page of Reddit on Thursday, are very real.

The photo shows then-Staff Sgt. Louis A. Capozzoli — and he is absolutely not on his way to steal your girl.

Read More Show Less