Reposted

Doesn’t get any more glorious than this picture...VFA-94 The Mighty Shrikes

Less than a month after 9/11 the United States Navy sent a swarm ashore. The F/A-18A/C had entered service in 1984 and had proven itself in the first gulf war. This time it was personal, no holds barred, and no quarter given. The USN had three carrier groups actively supporting Operation Enduring Freedom, the umbrella term for the war against the Tailban and Al Quesadillas, not a typo but an insult.

With tanker support from Britain and the USAF, the Hornets dropped bombs daily for three months. Unfortunately you can’t bomb a country into being civilized or democratic but we did the best we could to send as many bad guys to their supposed paradise as soon as possible.

I’

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French carrier Foch and HMS Ocean

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Refueling probe out for some gas to get back in the fight

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Old school large air wing.
The standard bomb load of the era was one drop tank and a bomb, this one has already been dropped, targetting pod and two more bombs.

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Duker has a sweet helmet
Feet Dry...

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The moon and flares...

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The green marker lights are illuminated for refueling and are used until near the fight for safety reasons.
Looks like Mars

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The perfectly in focus Hornet and crew men in the background is special
Flares over Afghanistan, note one bomb had already been dropped.

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That they launch aircraft from carriers is one thing, quite another to do so in the dark of night...
L-1011 TriStar

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Hornet going to light speed of the carrier with streaks and everything.
Lockheed TriStar tanker of the Royal Air Force

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KC-10 Extender tanking a ‚ÄúBug‚ÄĚ over Afghanistan

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Full load but no Sidewinders missiles in the wingtip rails...

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