Like most other press photographers I stood wedged in a crowd of mourners outside Alexander Nevski Cathedral for hours, waiting for the memorial service to end. When the pallbearers finally emerged from the cathedral and placed the open casket into the funeral car the honor guard saluted.
It turned out, I had just about the best position to capture everything.
Canon EOS 50D & Canon EF 70-200mm L USM (@200mm); f/4.0; 1/5000; ISO 800
Fifty years after her maiden voyage America’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier completed her final voyage on 31 October.
Over the last half century the ‘Big E’ brought her substantial punch to bear during the Cuban Missile Crisis, during the Vietnam War and against Iran during operation Praying Mantis, to name a few. With her return to Naval Station Mayport, Florida, her active days are over.
The inactivation ceremony is scheduled for 1 December 2012. Go to the official Enterprise website for more information and registration. Hopefully she will be preserved and does not have to end as razor blades.
The original ‘Lightning’ was the U.S. Army Air Force’s first long-range escort fighter
Although constructed as a long-range escort fighter, the P-38’s that went into service in 1942 were a number of F-4 photo reconnaissance versions. Later, the Lightning was also used as fighter-bomber, night fighter and dive bomber. The ‘Lightning’ was retired from service in the U.S. in 1949 and in most other air forces during the fifties, but the Honduran Air Force kept operating them until 1965.
Designer was Lockheed’s famous Clarence “Kelly” Johnson who in later years was responsible for designing the U-2 and the SR-71, still the fastest plane ever operated by any air force.
A sailor loading the 20 mm gun of a Phalanx close-in weapons system on the guided missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG 94).
The Phalanx close-in weapons system (CIWS) is the U.S. Navy warship’s last line of defense against incoming anti-ship missiles. Phalanx is fully automated and mainly consists of a radar and a 20 mm M61 Vulcan Gatling gun with a firing rate of 4,500 rounds per minute. Yes, that’s forty-five 20 mm rounds each second!
More about Phalanx on the manufacturer’s website and about U.S. Navy weapons systems on their website.
Marines make their way to the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2):
A U.S. Marine Corps Assault Amphibious Vehicle (AAV) makes its way towards the open stern gate of the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2). These formidable vessels can carry 2-3 landing craft (LCAC or LCU), a full Marine Expeditionary Unit and up to 36 aircraft.
For more about the USS Essex have a look at their Facebook page, more about the U.S. Marines on their website.
French FREMM frigate Aquitaine firing an anti-submarine torpedo:
The Aquitaine, the first FREMM (Frégate multi-mission) in the ASW-configuration for the French Navy, successfully firing an anti-submarine torpedo on 22 June.
The anti-submarine warfare version of the French-Italian co-produced FREMM frigates are also equipped with a towed-array sonar, vertical launch tubes for the MBDA Aster 15 air defense system and a 76mm Oto Melara gun.