View post tag: Troops Back to overview,Home naval-today USS John C. Stennis VFA-41 Supports Operation Enduring Freedom Troops Training & Education View post tag: Freedom The “Black Aces” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 41 are conducting daily flight operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) from aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74).By providing direct air support to coalition forces on the ground in Afghanistan, flight operations contribute to the degradation of terrorist activities and improvement of overall security in the region.“We contribute to OEF by providing close-air support, by being prepared to defend coalition forces when called upon to do so,” said Lt. Eric Rohan, weapons system operator (WSO), from Upper Marlboro, Md.Before deployment, VFA-41 prepared for OEF by practicing close-air support missions and simulating armed surveillance.“Afghanistan is a big country,” said Rohan. “It’s important that we’re prepared to fly overhead and know we have their [coalition ground forces] back.”All nine aviation squadrons assigned to the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG) contribute to OEF; however, VFA-41 has one distinct difference that sets them apart from other F/A-18 squadrons.“Our jets have two seats as opposed to one,” said Lt. Traver Fordham, pilot, from Gardnerville, Nev. “So we have an extra set of eyes. It allows us a little more flexibility when get close to certain borders in between countries.”Cmdr. Layne McDowell, commanding officer of the Black Aces, agrees that being a two-seat fighter brings added capabilities to the fight.“It allows us to operate as a forward air controller, airborne, (FAC (A)), in situations where the ground force commander or joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) [an operator on the ground who directs the actions of supporting aircraft] needs added support to control the fight from the air,” said McDowell. “The two-seat FA-18F is the only Navy airborne platform capable of performing this role, and we have done it recently on multiple occasions in Operation Enduring Freedom.”VFA-41’s efforts have not gone unnoticed by troops with “boots on the ground.”“It’s a huge comfort knowing that we have an asset overhead like a jet,” said Army Capt. Carlos Semidey, ground liaison officer (GLO), from Fajardo, Puerto Rico. “When we find ourselves in trouble on the ground and we need to call in for air support, it brings peace of mind knowing our friends in the Navy are doing everything they can to help us out and keep us safe.”The JCSCSG is not the only Navy asset supporting operations in Afghanistan. Sailors serve throughout all 34 Afghan provinces and in the six Navy-led Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs), promoting governance, enhancing security and aiding in reconstruction efforts.JCSCSG, consisting of Stennis, Carrier Air Wing 9, Destroyer Squadron 21, and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) are forward deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom.[mappress]Naval Today Staff, March 5, 2013; Image: US Navy View post tag: Supports View post tag: John View post tag: operation View post tag: USS Share this article View post tag: Naval View post tag: News by topic View post tag: Navy March 5, 2013 View post tag: C. View post tag: Defense View post tag: VFA-41 View post tag: Defence View post tag: Enduring View post tag: Stennis USS John C. Stennis VFA-41 Supports Operation Enduring Freedom Troops
This year’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival offered no shortage of entertainment value, including performances by Kendrick Lamar, Radiohead, Lady Gaga, award-winning film composer Hans Zimmer, and many more, along with various art installations and other festival grounds fare. But perhaps the most awe-inspiring sensory display at the popular California desert event was “Chrysalis,” an 8-minute psychedelic experience projected onto a massive geodesic dome. The 360° audiovisual spectacle starts with a “Shamanistic rite-of-passage ceremony,” and embarks from there on a breathtaking cosmic odyssey.Obscura Digital, the firm responsible for the exhibit, is a San Francisco-based creative technology studio that orchestrates entertaining, informative, and educational experiences with interactive installations, large-format architectural projections, and immersive environments that generate a sense of awe and inspiration for live audiences. Thanks to the Obscura, you can watch footage of the entire light show below (though, of course, a conventional video can’t really come close to capturing the full Antarctic Dome experience):You can also watch Obscura Digital’s official recap video from the installation, which gives some added perspective on the awesome scale of the spectacle and the dumbstruck reactions of its thoroughly satisfied patrons:As the project’s Creative Director Joshua Pipic explained to Vice, “The power of it is that it’s not just a VR headset—it giant and powerful and really takes up all the space in front of your eyes. People overuse the word ‘immersive,’ but it’s the most immersive thing I’ve ever worked on.” And when Pipic says this is the most “immersive” project he’s worked on, you can trust it’s coming from a reliable source: Obscure has designed and brought to life innovative audiovisual exhibitions on the facades of such iconic structures Empire State Building, St. Peter’s Basilica, The Sydney Opera House, and more. You can check out more of Obscura’s incredible work on their website.[h/t – Vice][Cover photo via Obscura Digital]
U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called 26 players to Carson, Calif., for the USA’s first FIFA World Cup preparation camp in 2014. The camp starts Jan. 6 and will be held in California and San Paulo, Brazil. U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has called 26 players to Carson, Calif., for the USA’s first FIFA World Cup preparation camp in 2014.The camp, which runs from Jan. 6-Feb. 1, will be conducted across two continents. After six days in California, a 23-player group will base in Sao Paulo from Jan. 13-25 to give the players and staff a dry run of this summer’s tournament in Brazil. The team will then return to the U.S. Soccer National Training Center.The roster is packed with veterans of the World Cup qualifying campaign as a total of 10 players helped the United States advance to the finals for the seventh-consecutive time. At the other end of the spectrum, nine players will be looking to earn their first cap for the Senior Team.“We are all very excited for this camp because, as a team, it will give us our first taste of Brazil,” said Klinsmann. “This is a very important camp in our preparations for the World Cup. It’s important for the players to continue developing their bond and sense of urgency for the tournament. It’s important for us to see how they do in Brazil, how the new players fit with the group and to make sure everyone is focused on reaching the highest level for next summer.” Jurgen Klinsmann Previews 2014 January CampThe camp culminates with a friendly against Korea Republic on Feb. 1 in Carson, Calif. Kickoff at the StubHub Center is set for 2 p.m. PT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2, WatchESPN and UniMas. Fans can also follow the match live on Twitter @ussoccer.More than 15,000 tickets have been sold for the USA’s first game in the New Year, which is one of only two games currently scheduled before the naming of the World Cup roster in May. Fans can purchase tickets through ussoccer.com, by calling 1-888-929-7849, and at the StubHub Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290. Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available exclusively through ussoccer.com.U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION – Detailed RosterGOALKEEPERS (4): Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)DEFENDERS (10): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Harrington (Portland Timbers), Chris Klute (Colorado Rapids), Chance Myers (Sporting Kansas City), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Seth Sinovic (Sporting Kansas City), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)MIDFIELDERS (8): Eric Alexander (New York Red Bulls), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)FORWARDS (4): Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Mike Magee (Chicago Fire), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)ROSTER NOTES Ten players on the camp roster appeared in World Cup qualifying matches for the USA in 2013. Graham Zusi led all players with nine appearances and was followed closely by Omar Gonzalez and Eddie Johnson, each with eight.Nick Rimando backstopped the team to the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup crown, collecting five victories and earning a shutout in the final, a 1-0 win against Panama.Landon Donovan tied for the team lead in 2013 with eight goals. He started all six games in the Gold Cup and shared Golden Boot honors with Chris Wondolowski, each scoring five times. Mix Diskerud was the only other player to make an appearance in all six Gold Cup matches.Twenty-five of the 27 players on the camp roster represent 11 different Major League Soccer teams. Current MLS champion Sporting Kansas City has five total (Matt Besler, Benny Feilhaber, Chance Myers, Seth Sinovic and Zusi) on the roster, the most of any team.Besler, Feilhaber and Zusi were all included on last year’s January camp roster, while Myers and Sinovic are both receiving their first call up to a camp with the full U.S. MNT.Luis Gil, Michael Harrington, Chris Klute, Shane O’Neill and DeAndre Yedlin are also all receiving their first call-up to a camp with the Senior National Team.Gil, O’Neill and Yedlin were all part of the 2013 U.S. U-20 World Cup team. During the tournament in Turkey, Gil scored against Spain and O’Neill against Ghana. Gil and Yedlin started all three matches of the tournament while O’Neil started the final two.Yedlin finished third in the 2013 MLS Rookie of the Year voting.Mike Magee was voted the 2013 MLS MVP after scoring 21 goals. The 29-year-old was also named to the League’s Best XI alongside Besler, Gonzalez and Zusi.Thirteen players were also in attendance at last year’s January camp: Kyle Beckerman, Besler, Brad Davis, Diskerud, Evans, Tally Hall, Bill Hamid, Eddie Johnson, Sean Johnson, Wondolowski and Zusi.Prior to that camp, Besler had never appeared for a U.S. National Team. He partnered with Gonzalez in central defense in the historic 0-0 draw in Mexico, becoming only the second player in U.S. history to start a World Cup qualifier with less than two caps.After Donovan (154 caps/57 goals), Eddie Johnson is the most experienced member of the camp roster with 61 career caps and 19 goals. Johnson tied DaMarcus Beasley for the most MNT appearances in 2013 with 17 – nine of which he started.In 2013, Johnson accumulated five goals and one assist. He scored the goal that completed the USA’s quest to qualify for the World Cup, netting the opening goal in the 2-0 win against Mexico.Zusi earned his first cap for the MNT at the end of the 2012 January camp when he started in the 1-0 win against Venezuela, then scored his first international goal four days later when the tallied the game-winner in the 1-0 win against Panama.Evans scored the game-winning goal in the 2-1 win in Jamaica on June 7 in Kingston. Recording his first goal for the MNT, his strike in the second minute of second-half stoppage time handed the U.S. a huge three points. He has started at right back in eight of the last nine games for which he was available, including five World Cup Qualifiers.Diskerud appeared in 13 of the USA’s last 14 matches dating back to July 5 against Guatemala. He played in all six matches in the 2013 Gold Cup winning run, and started the last two World Cup qualifiers. Remarkably, the United States holds a record of 12-1-3 all-time in games in which Diskerud has appeared.
MIAMI >> Giancarlo Stanton stands 6 feet, 6 inches tall. The Miami Marlins’ right fielder is bigger than most baseball players, with the wingspan of a pteranodon. When he reaches, the world bends slightly in his direction.Stanton reached for a Cody Bellinger fly ball in the seventh inning Saturday, but not even he could prevent a small slice of history from falling to Earth. The ball cleared Stanton’s glove by a few inches and rolled to the wall. Bellinger glided into third base with a triple — becoming the first rookie in the history of the Dodgers’ century-old franchise to hit for the cycle.Bellinger also singled in the first inning, hit a two-run homer in the third inning and doubled in the fourth inning of the Dodgers’ 7-1 win at Marlins Park. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error He became the ninth Dodger to hit for the cycle, and only the third since the team moved to L.A. in 1958 — and, at 22 years and two days, the seventh-youngest to cycle for any team.In less than three months, Bellinger has gone from a non-40-man roster player to the National League leader in home runs.“This past week,” he said, “is probably the top of everything.”Bellinger has been in Miami since Monday, when he reached the semifinals of the Home Run Derby. On Tuesday he played in the All-Star Game. Thursday, he celebrated his birthday. Saturday he upstaged Alex Wood’s six shutout innings and Yasmani Grandal’s three-run home run, the other linchpins of the Dodgers’ latest victory.The Dodgers have won 28 of their past 32 games. The last time they did that, according to ESPN Stats and Info, was 1899. Will they ever lose a game again? “I would say at some point in time,” Manager Dave Roberts said. “I just don’t see anyone compete as much as we do. It’s not taking away anything from anyone else, but I think that our club for 27 outs competes harder than anyone. When you have the talent we have and the compete that we have, every single night, we’re going to win a lot of games.”This game carried little suspense. Marlins starter Jose Urena (7-4) unraveled in the third inning of a 0-0 game by allowing five runs. Three came on the home run by Grandal, his 12th of the season and his 10th as a left-handed hitter. Two came on the home run by Bellinger, his 26th of the season. He and Cincinnati Reds slugger Joey Votto are tied for the NL lead.The Dodgers scored twice more. Bellinger’s 16th double of the season drove in Justin Turner to provide a 6-0 lead. After his historic triple — his second this season — Bellinger tagged up and scored on a Logan Forsythe sacrifice fly.Miami rallied for three hits against reliever Pedro Baez with two outs in the seventh inning to score its only run.Wood (11-0) walked one batter and struck out four. He is the first Dodgers pitcher to begin a season with 11 consecutive wins since at least 1913, and hasn’t lost a game since May 30, 2016.“It’s been kind of a crazy ride,” Wood said. “I’m trying to keep it all in perspective.”The Marlins could scarcely get the ball in the air against Wood’s superlative sinker. Only one of his 18 outs came on a fly ball to the outfield. Four came via strikeouts. The rest, a steady stream of grounders.“Any time your team wins a game, a lot goes into it,’’ said Wood. “I feel like every time I go out and pitch, we score five, six, seven runs. It definitely takes the pressure off early. … We’re just clicking on all cylinders.”The night belonged to Bellinger, whose four hits also set a career high. He is the fifth player to hit for a cycle this season, and the first Dodger since Orlando Hudson on Opening Day of the 2009 season.Wes Parker (in 1970) is the only other Dodger to achieve the feat since the franchise moved to Los Angeles.Bellinger said his parents have already amassed a small fortune of souvenir baseballs in a short amount of time: his first two home runs, his first double, his first RBI.“First something else,” he said. “A lot of firsts.”If Clay and Jennifer Bellinger have any room left in their Chandler, Ariz., home, Saturday’s game ball will join the collection of historic trinkets. For his part, Cody Bellinger has no apparent interest in indexing the tangible reminders of his greatness. Next to Saturday’s game ball, sitting on the chair by his locker, Bellinger noticed he’d gained a folded-up piece of paper.“Whatever this is — tickets? I haven’t really looked yet,” Bellinger said.His disinterest in each milestone is genuine, Roberts said.“Where we slated him at the start of the season, and the impact that he’s made, I don’t think that was expected, obviously,” Roberts said. “But the great thing about Cody is, he doesn’t get too far out of each moment. At the end of this season it’ll be great for him to look back at what he accomplished and what we accomplished as a team. That old saying: You’re never as good as they say you are and you’re never as bad. Cody just has really good perspective on things. It’s a wave that he’s never been on, but he’s enjoying the ride.”