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war on isis

Very interesting NY Times article today on US Fighter Pilot’s missions fighting ISIS

Fighter Pilots vs ISIS

Navy pilots on the flight deck of the Theodore Roosevelt after flying a mission over Iraq in August. Credit: Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

Today’s New York Times features a front page story profiling some of our finest military pilots who are fighting ISIS over the skies of the Middle East.  I was interviewed by the author, Helene Cooper, for my views on what life is like for today’s fighter pilots versus the image that was painted in the movie “Top Gun” starring Tom Cruise.

I was very impressed at her level of knowledge about today’s armed forces, their living and working conditions as well as their mission tasking.

The article is very well written and features photographic profiles of individual pilots that they included  in their online edition (“The Pilots Fighting ISIS”), where they list short vignettes from combat missions as well as the small personal mementos each carries with them into battle:

For U.S. Pilots, the Real War on ISIS Is a Far Cry From ‘Top Gun’

ABOARD THE U.S.S. THEODORE ROOSEVELT, in the Persian Gulf — Soon after this aircraft carrier arrived here for its Middle East deployment, two F/A-18 Super Hornets catapulted off its deck for a six-and-a-half-hour bombing run toward Islamic State targets in Iraq. In one of the fighter jets was Navy Lt. Michael Smallwood, 28, call sign Bones, and in the other was his friend and roommate, Navy Lt. Nick Smith, also 28, call sign Yip Yip.

For a minute or two that day in May, the Hornets were right next to each other in the sky, but then Lieutenant Smith’s plane had engine trouble and began to lose altitude. Over the radio, Lieutenant Smallwood could hear his friend turn around, try to land back on the carrier and then eject into the Persian Gulf. The $60 million Hornet crashed into the sea…

To read the rest of the story see here –> For US Pilots The Real War on ISIS is a Far Cry From Top Gun

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