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New attack helicopter: Marines meet the ‘Viper’

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[MARINE CORPS AIR STATION, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, Dec. 21, 2017]  Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 367 received three upgraded AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters here, Dec. 19.

The AH-1Z aircraft is an updated version of the AH-1W, bringing new capabilities and features into the squadron’s arsenal.

“The AH-1Z’s are replacing the AH-1W’s, which are essentially from the 1980’s,” said Marine Corps Capt. Julian Tucker, the squadron’s ground training officer. “Some big takeaways on the new aircraft can be summarized into greater fuel capacity, ordnance capabilities, and situational awareness.”

More firepower

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The AH-1Z can carry and deploy 16 Hellfire missiles, effectively doubling the capacity of its predecessor, the AH-1W. Updated avionics systems and sensors are another important aspects of the upgrade. The upgraded capabilities allow the squadron and Marine Corps Base Hawaii to further project power and reach in the Asia-Pacific region.

“With the new turret sight system sensor, we can see threats from much further out than before,” Tucker said. “Obviously, that’s a huge advance for our situational awareness.”

Marine Corps Maj. Christopher Myette, the assistant operations officer for the squadron, piloted one of the new Vipers back from Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

“Having the displays under glass is a big change from the old steam gauges,” Myette noted on the new digital display systems. “Another thing you notice is that in the electrical optical sensor, there’s a night and day difference.”

The updated electrical systems create a new situation for Marines like Sgt. Jeremy Ortega, an avionics technician with the squadron.

“The new Zulus incorporate systems from the AH-1W and the UH-1Y and essentially combine them,” Ortega said. “The upgraded turret sight systems create much more in-depth images, which allow pilots to pinpoint targets better and get more descriptive, accurate pictures.”

Marines like Ortega are essential to keep the squadron at the peak of readiness during the transition, Myette said.

“Maintenance Marines have done an outstanding job of accepting the new aircraft,” Myette said. “They have really done the majority of the heavy lifting on this project, and we definitely appreciate them.”

Although there will be a learning curve working with the new system due to its modernity, Ortega said he is excited to work with the upgraded helicopters.

“Times are changing and things are evolving,” Ortega said. “It’s time for the AH-1W’s to go to bed. And, the AH-1Z’s are the perfect candidate to replace them.”

 

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Big League National Security

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats Mocks President Trump at Globalist Festival

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The acting Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, took the opportunity to throw shade at President Donald Trump while speaking at the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday. The annual event at a ski resort in Colorado has served for several years as a venue for leading neoconservatives, uber-hawks, and  Washington D.C based defense contractors to coordinate their political activities, recently becoming an opportunity for the elite bureaucrat class to fume collectively in hatred against the America First vision of foreign policy articulated by President Trump. However, it comes as a surprise to many to see an acting high-level U.S national security official speak publicly against the foreign policy of peaceful and principled realism set forth by the President he is nominally bound to serve as Commander-in-Chief.

Speaking to MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Director Coats justified an earlier statement of opposition he had released in response to the President’s press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, stating that he “needed to correct the record,” and that he “wished [Trump] had made a different statement.” Coats went on to express a sense of bewilderment upon learning that Trump had invited President Putin to the White House for further bilateral negotiations, initially asking Mitchell to repeat herself before responding with “okay… That’s going to be special,” speaking in reference to the planned White House visit.

Coats even floated the possibility of resignation from his office in his discussion with the MSNBC talk show host, answering a question about whether of not he had even considered resigning from his position as a form of protest against the sitting President’s national security policies by saying it was “a place I don’t really go to, publicly.” It’s uncertain if the President deserves intelligence personnel who are able to fully devote their efforts to apolitical public service without the possibility of resigning to advance an alternate political agenda, from the perspective of the acting U.S intelligence chief.

Other deep-state linked political figures, such as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and the former pundit-extraordinaire and now full-time Twitter crybaby Bill Kristol, were in attendance at the four-day exclusive conference, with tickets for attendance ranging from $1,500 to $2,000.

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