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    Read This: Going inside the Navy's new Zumwalt-class destroyer
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    The US Navy's newest and biggest toy is the imposing Zumwalt-class guided-missile destroyer, a svelte, stealthy entry designed to complement the Navy's large fleet of Arleigh Burke-class DDGs. Considering everything from its stealthy figure – which allows it to appear on radar as the same ...

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    ETC: The best military photos of the week: September 26
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    This week's photos are big on night shots and dynamic lighting, and have been colored, in part, by the most recent bombing campaign in the Middle East. In our lead shot, two F-15E Strike Eagles are on full afterburner in the early morning following a strike in Syria. Take a look below for the ...

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    Report: Navy to deploy helicopter drones to Pacific for first time
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    The US Navy will be pairing its newest ship, the controversial littoral combat ship, with one of its newest drones, the unmanned Fire Scout helicopter. Destined for duty aboard the USS Fort Worth, which is launching from San Diego later this year, it will mark the first time the helos have been ...

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    Report: Navy's Triton drone completes first cross-country flight [w/video]
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    The US Navy's MQ-4C Triton drone has completed its first cross-country flight, traveling over 3,300 miles at altitudes up to 50,000 feet from Palmdale, CA along the southern border, towards Florida before turning north and heading up the Atlantic seaboard before landing at Naval Air Station ...

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    ETC: The best military photos of the week: September 19
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    There were a number of exercises commencing this week that delivered quite a few great action shots of the armed forces in action. At the top of the page, we have the launch of the ship-killing Harpoon cruise missile from the USS Stethem on the opening day of Exercise Valiant Shield. Scroll down ...

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    Report: Marine F-35Bs hit milestone as first squadron begins initial training
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    The US Marine Corp's first F-35B jump-jet squadron, Fighter Attack Squadron 121, have officially kicked off their training on the new fighter, which will replace the aging (but still awesome) AV-8B Harrier. "We shifted into IOC [initial operational capability] training last week," squadron CO ...

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    ETC: The best military photos of the week: September 12
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    As per usual, all four branches of the US military are represented in this week's best photos. This week's photos kick off with a rather bizarre scene, as a Georgia Air National Guard F-15 Eagle is towed through the town of Warner Robins. The single-seat fighter was loaned to the town's city hall ...

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    ETC: Military Terminology: Bombs
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    With President Barack Obama's announcement of an expanded aerial campaign against the Islamic State and in Syria, now seems like a good time to get on the subject of airborne bombs. This is sort of an odd field, mixing the cutting edge with concepts that have been employed for decades. In their ...

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    ETC: Military Terminology: AWACS
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    Technically known as airborne early warning and control systems, the phrase "AWACS" often serves as a catch-all for the US military's aerial command and control functions. The lead and most visible craft of this sort is the Boeing E-3 Sentry, a 707 that's been modified to accommodate a massive, ...

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    ETC: The best military photos of the week: September 5
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    This week's group of military photos covers the gamut (as usual). All four major service branches are covered, with some particularly good shots of the Navy and Air Force doing their thing, while the Army and Marines provide an up close look at their hardware and capabilities. Take a look at our ...

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    ETC: Military Terminology: The basics of pilot parlance, part 2
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    Yesterday, we explained a few of the most basic elements in-flight slang. That piece focused on communications regarding flight status, including the meaning of angels, cherubs and balls. Today, we'll look at the exciting stuff – how pilots talk in a combat situation. First, how does one ...

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    Report: France calls off controversial delivery of Russian assault ship
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    A controversial deal that would see France supply Russia with two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships has just suffered a major blow, as the western European country announced it will not deliver the first ship – the Vladivostok, shown above – citing the security threat posed ...

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    ETC: Military Terminology: The basics of pilot parlance, part 1
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    Pilots are a strange bunch. Whether they're flying fighters, bombers, refuellers, cargo planes or something else altogether, military pilots are unified by a common language that varies from obvious to utterly obscure. While we could write dozens and dozens of posts breaking down this sometimes ...

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    ETC: The best military photos of the week: August 29
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    This week's gallery of images includes just a bit of everything. We've got a few land vehicles, plenty of aircraft, including some great shots of the USS Carl Vinson's F/A-18 Hornets, an entire flock of KC-135 Stratotankers and a nighttime look at the USS America, at dock in Valparaiso, ...

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    ETC: Military Terminology: Combat air patrol
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    In case you haven't noticed, the military enjoys its abbreviations. That's especially true of the flying forces, which seemingly speak in nothing but shorthand. While we will endeavor to explain as many of those phrases as possible in this series, today, we'll focus on one of the most common ...

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    ETC: Military Terminology: COM and all its varieties
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    Read enough about the military, and you're likely to stumble across a range of abbreviations that all start with COM, for commander. There's COMPACAF, COMPACFLT, COMSCOCENT and literally dozens and dozens of others. In short, when you see these designations, it's a reference to either the senior ...

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    Read This: What went wrong with the Navy's LCS program?
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    Alongside the F-35 Lightning II fighter, there's hardly a single military program that has been subject to as much criticism as the US Navy's Littoral Combat Ship. The controversial program has resulted in two classes of small surface combatants (shown above, Freedom-class at left and ...

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    ETC: Military Terminology: US Navy hull classification system
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    Yesterday, we covered the meanings of the military's aircraft designations. Compared to that, though, the ships of the US Navy feature a far more mystifying code, which we'll endeavor to explain here. There are a few simple constants that we should keep in mind. Two recurring designations ...

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    ETC: Military Terminology: Decoding Aircraft Designations
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    The alphabet soup that is the military is most visible in the ships and aircraft that we see among America's armed forces. Some of these designations are fairly obvious. It's not hard to figure out that the "F" in "F-16" stands for fighter (the same is true of the F-14, F-15, F-22 etc.). What ...

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    Report: PRC disputes US criticism of incident between fighter and recon plane
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    The Chinese government has called the US Navy's criticism of last week's close encounter between a PRC fighter and a Navy P-8 Poseidon (above) "totally groundless," Military Times reported. According to Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon's press secretary, a Chinese J-11B showed its heavily ...

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