The very first F/A-18F cruise took place on board the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) in 2003. Together with sister squadron VFA-14 Tophatters (operating the F/A-18E), VFA-41 Black Aces flew numbers of missions from the Nimitz in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. This F/A-18F of the Black Aces is being prepped for the launch and is just lowering its folded wings.
An EP-3E Airborne Reconnaissance Integrated Electronic System (ARIES) II seen during its landing at its Forward Operating Base (FOB) Souda air base (Crete, Greece). This aircraft belonged to Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron (VQ) "World Watchers". Its role is aerial reconnaissance and gathering electronic and signals intelligence. The squadron is is based at NAS Whidbey Island (WA). The EP-3Es wil be retired soon, as the modern P-8A Poseidon (a military variant of the Boeing 737) is taking over its role.
A surprise and completely contrasting with the grey mass on board the USS Nimitz (CVN-68) was this Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 97 "Warhawks" F/A-18A Hornet. One of the Warhawks Hornets went broke during the Operation Iraqi Freedom deployment, so a replacement aircraft was flown in, and this appeared to be a former US Navy adversary aircraft that served the Naval Strike Air Warfare Center (NSAWC, Top Gun) from NAS Fallon (NV).
RJAF Viper during its landing at Nellis. Red Flag 2015-4 was the first Flag for the Jordanians. Strikingly, while this squadron was involved in mock-fights during this exercise, at home they were deeply involved in real combat, fighting ISIS.
Two HH-60H, also nicknamed Rescue Hawks, were assigned to a Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadrons within an Air Wing. These special equipped Seahawks gave the Carrier Air Wing commanders their own Combat Search and Rescue capability. The HH-60H is easy to recognize by its FLIR extension, mounted on a gimbal on its nose. This Forward Looking InfraRed sensor enabled the pilots to see through darkness, haze, smoke and poor weather. The FLIR can also be used to target Hellfire missiles, that could be mounted on specially-fitted pylons. This camo HH-60H was seen on board the USS Nimitz (CVN-68).
Pictured on board of the USS Nimitz (CVN_68) this Viking shows clearly its identity, Sea Control "Squadron (VS) 29, nicknamed Dragonfires. Although both in an almost boring grey color scheme, NH-700 is in stark contrast to its unmarked squadron mate 159766/NH-705.
An Egyptian air force Mi-8T escorted a convoy of ships through the Suez canal. The armed helicopters constantly hover around and oversee the shore lines to prevent terrorist attacks. The convoy, commercial cargo as well as some military ships, were closely observed too, like the co-pilot shows when he was taking pictures of our ship, the HNLMS Johan de Witt, the second Landing Platform Dock (LPD) amphibious warfare ship of the Royal Netherlands Navy.
Dassault has completed delivery of the last of 4 Falcon 50SURMAR (marine surveillance) aircraft to the French Navy in 2016. All 4 aircraft are assigned to 24 Flotille at Lann-Bihoué. The quartet have been transferred from the French Air Force VIP transport fleet and were upgraded by Dassault at Bordeaux with a Thales Ocean Master 100 search radar, as well as a new cockpit and observation windows. This SURMAR flew out of Djibouti along the Somalia coastline somewhere in between Mogadishu and the Seychelles. Behind the large window you can see an observer taking photographs of the Johan de Witt.
ZilAir is the premium provider of luxury helicopter and fixed wing aerial limo services in Seychelles. The small company operates four Eurocopter H-120B helicopters, a twin engine EC-145 helicopter as well as a twin-engine fixed wing Vulcan Air P.68C.
India donated this Do228-201 to the Seychelles as a maritime patrol aircraft in January 2013. They only forgot to supply the tiny air force some spare parts so in October 2013, the aircraft was already grounded. But, Indian made it up and the aircraft, as well as a second donated Dornier 228 are currently enjoying airspace of the very exclusive holiday destination.