U.S. Army/Capt. Judith Marlowe

The FIM-92 Stinger missile was the man-portable air defense system of choice for the U.S. Army and Marine Corps (and a handful of action heroes during the 1980s and 90s, plus some Afghan, uh, “freedom fighters”). Since the end of the Cold War, the Department of Defense has drifted away from the infrared homing missile; the Global War on Terror’s emphasis on counterinsurgency tactics led to a decline in funding for short-range air defense systems (SHORAD). But with the Pentagon adopting an increasingly rigid posture in eastern Europe, the Army is learning to love the Stinger once again.

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DoD photo.

A recent Reddit upload shows a U.S. Air Force F-16 pilot going toe to toe with a host of Iraqi missile sites during the Gulf War. The black and white video is shot from the pilot's flight camera, but it's the gritty and tense audio that ensures viewers don't forget that they're watching actual pilots, in real combat.

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