December 23, 2019

LAUNCHING IN THE PACIFIC: Vapor ahoy. An F/A-18E Super Hornet launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt. Photo snapped December 12 in the eastern Pacific. Meanwhile, back in New Mexico: A U.S, Army 1st Armored Division M109A6 Paladin responds to a call for fire. The self-propelled howitzer is participating in a Joint Strike Fighter Integration exercise. The exercise series tests multiple communications links between a U.S. Air Force aircraft and a U.S. Army artillery. What the DOD caption implies but doesn’t say is this. The Army and Air Force have been using USAF stealth platforms (think F-35A) to spot targets for Army artillery (tube and rocket/missile artillery, like the GMLRS. the GPS guided MLRS, multiple launch rocket system). Same trick the USMC is doing with its F-35Bs and GMLRS rockets. Here’s a background post on the tactics that Jim Dunnigan wrote in late 2018.

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