Military snapshots

Welcome to our regular feature that presents some examples of the incredible photography coming out of the U.S. armed forces and their global missions.

Valiant Shield

(Above) One aircraft carrier, 15 other surface ships, more than 160 aircraft, and approximately 15,000 personnel from the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army and Marine Corps sent a clear message in the Philippine Sea this September: The U.S. is ready for anything. This display of military technology and strength is called Valiant Shield, and it is the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s U.S.-only joint training exercise. Held biennially, Valiant Shield began in 2006.

Exercise Valiant Shield is “extremely important,” U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Daniel Dwyer said in a U.S. Air Force news story. “No service will go alone. Any opportunity that we can come together to train as a joint force makes us that much more lethal and capable.”

How cold is it?

Military snapshots
(U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Corporal Cody Rowe)

It’s so cold in Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, in January that it will freeze your eyelashes.

Wisconsin’s frigid winter climate provides a perfect, if grueling, training ground for the 2nd Marine Air Wing’s Ullr Shield exercise. For Marines like Lance Corporal Kwan Walker (above), this is where they develop the skills necessary to perform all manner of duties in extreme cold-weather conditions.

As NATO’s Trident Juncture exercise continues in and around Norway until November 7, extreme weather skills — like those practiced in Wisconsin — will be honed in the harsh climates of northern Europe.

Holy smoke!

Military snapshots
(U.S. Marine Corps/Corporal A. J. Van Fredenberg)

Above, U.S. Marines and Malaysian soldiers train together as part of a Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise in August. The two allies have been holding these exercises for 24 years to build mutual war-fighting capability and support long-term regional cooperation.

See you on the ground

Military snapshots
(U.S. Army/Visual Information Specialist Jason Johnston)

Seemingly suspended in mid-air, a U.S. soldier from the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) jumps out of a C-130 Hercules aircraft over Germany in this 2015 photograph.

Richard Grenell, U.S. ambassador to Germany, said the U.S. is “committed to strengthening the trans-Atlantic alliance, and President Trump’s promise to increase U.S. defense capabilities means the alliance is stronger today.”

Safe landing

Military snapshots
(U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist/Dana D. Legg)

Above, an AV-8B Harrier lands on the flight deck of the USS Kearsarge amphibious assault ship during a June readiness exercise in the Atlantic.

All branches of the U.S. military conduct exercises similar to this across the globe, in cooperation with foreign counterparts and allies, to help improve security, ensure open access to seas and airways, and participate in humanitarian and disaster readiness operations.

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