Fuel for flights – Natural Fire 10 – US Army Africa – 091011

Fuel for flights - Natural Fire 10 - US Army Africa - 091011

www.usaraf.army.mil

First helicopter flights launch during Natural Fire 10

By 2nd Lt. Sara Snider, 11th Aviation Command Public Affairs

KITGUM, Uganda— When U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Kellyjack Luman needed to inspect growing operations at this remote village in northern Uganda, he relied upon the CH-47 Chinook helicopters from the U.S. Army Reserve’s 11th Aviation Command, a Fort Knox, KY-based unit supporting Natural Fire 10 this month in Uganda.

The flight was a first of many for the Chinook aviators, who will airlift supplies and troops around Uganda. Having the 11th Aviation Command at Natural Fire 10 is key, Luman said.

“It’s a really long drive from our headquarters here in Entebbe to Kitgum – we’re talking roughly an eight hour drive,” Luman said. “We’ll move more than 500 people both up there and back, plus supplies vital for life support during the exercise.”

Operating in Africa is an extreme effort for a U.S. Army Reserve aviation unit to undertake, said Maj. Doyle Riley, Company D, 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment.

“From dismantling the aircraft in Kansas to transporting our helicopters and gear aboard a Russian aircraft to Africa, then rebuilding the Chinooks at Entebbe airfield and beginning operations a week ahead of schedule – those were monumental tasks we accomplished,” Riley said.

In the cockpit, Riley and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Ron Erkie piloted the mammoth two-rotor helicopter through the Ugandan skies. Nearby, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Dwayne McQuade and Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jim Hand flew their sister ship alongside, carrying a group of aviators who were learning the air routes North from Entebbe.

Luman and Col. Eric Nantz, U.S. Army Africa’s operations officer, led a site survey team to Kitgum to check on construction of a camp that will house soldiers from Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda , Kenya and the United States during the exercise.

The team also inspected the forward area refueling point, known to aviators as a FARP, where they will land during operations to take on fuel.

Luman stated his firm belief that there is no difference between active and reserve component Soldiers. That said, Luman was impressed to see a stateside Reserve unit tackle the mission with such enthusiasm.

“Getting the aircraft here, ready to go early, assisted U.S. Army Africa staff greatly, allowing us to check out the areas where our Soldiers will live and work,” Luman said. “Without the 11th Aviation, it would have taken two days out of our time to drive there and back.”

CAPTION: Chief Warrant Officer 3 Don Taylor, 46, of Gardner, Kan., Chief Warrant Officer 4 John Berezoski, of Olathe, Kan., and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Steve Cappel, 32, of Colorado Springs, Colo., check flight date in their units’ aviation mission planning system, an advanced computer system that build flight routes for aviators operating in Uganda for Natural Fire 10.

Cleared for public release.

Photo by Rick Scavetta, U.S. Army Africa

To learn more about U.S. Army Africa visit our official website at www.usaraf.army.mil

Official Twitter Feed: www.twitter.com/usarmyafrica

Official YouTube video channel: www.youtube.com/usarmyafrica

Posted by US Army Africa on 2009-10-12 21:23:27

Tagged: , U.S. , Army , Africa , Natural , Fire , 10 , Entebbe , Kitgum , Uganda , chinook , ch-47 , helicopter , aviation , pilot , dust , off , medevac , rotor , officer

My Desk at Aviation

My Desk at Aviation

Yes, I am still related to my dad. Yes, it normally looks this neat. I spend a large percentage of my time sitting here writing software to help the SIL PNG Branch Aviation Department support Bible translation work.

Posted by kahunapulej on 2007-10-28 01:58:19

Tagged: , Papua New Guinea , PNG , Eastern Highlands Province , EHP , Ukarumpa , Aviation , desk , computer , kahunapule , kahunapulej

ZERO-G REVIEWS – MOVIES (MOON) “AEROSPACE”

ZERO-G REVIEWS - MOVIES (MOON)

"ONE SMALL STEP FOR SAM, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR SAMKIND"

What (you ask) has this magazine cover to do with the Science Fiction movie "Moon"?

Well, it’s one that I just happen to have in my collection, a copy of which I spotted in the film….

Here’s my review:

MOON

Feature Film
Directed by Duncan Jones
Screenplay by Duncan Jones and Nathan Parker
97 minutes
United Kingdom

Zowie! Let’s get that out of the way. Yes, Duncan Jones, co-writer and director of the British Science Fiction movie “Moon” is David Bowie’s son and if you want to think of the film’s plot as revealing the ultimate fate of Major Tom, go right ahead I won’t stop you.

Budgeted at five million dollars, “Moon” cost a lot less than a NASA lunar mission, or indeed a NASA moon shot toothbrush but, as with the slightly more pricey genre hit, “District 9”, provides an astonishingly big bang for its paltry space-credits.

Well, perhaps not so much literal pyrotechnics, as this is more cerebral Science Fiction, rather than space war, super hero slugfest or giant robot rampage. (Which is not to say that they can’t be brainbusters as well.) Rather, “Moon” is set on the title satellite within futuristic spitting distance of today. We’re mining dear old Selene naked (Down lads! Naught to do with the star of "Underworld"!) essentially raking through the moon dust for Helium 3, celebrity isotope of the century because of its potential use in nuclear fusion reactors. Here splendidly realised (in a tidy montage at least) and providing 70 percent of Earth’s energy needs. Korean based Lunar Industries Ltd. is a big mining concern that maintains a semi-automated one-man station on the moon station. Why they don’t shift over to total mechanisation given the high level of sophisticated robotics otherwise on display is one of the film’s few sticking points. Never mind, perhaps there’s a property rights derived legal necessity that requires the base have an actual human living and working on site. If so, you’d think that Occupational Health And Safety wouldn’t let them get away with a lone operator! With good reason too, as solo Astronaut Sam Bell, very near the end of a gruelling three year contractual tour of duty, is looking and acting increasingly seedy. Taking his character on what turns out to be an existential quest to find himself is actor Sam Rockwell, who’s shaping up into a rather noteworthy genre star.

Rockwell was Crewman Number Six from “Galaxy Quest”, Zaphod Beeblebrox in the “Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” movie, and even played Batman in the short film “Robin’s BIg Date”. He’s also rogue industrialist Justin Hammer in “Iron Man 2”. The “Moon” role is an actor’s challenge that results in one small step for Sam, one giant leap for Samkind. Rockwell quirkily paints a ‘Dorian Gray’ portrait of an off world working stiff coming messily unglued at the space suit seams. As who wouldn’t, with nothing to do but service dust harvesters, build intricate scale model buildings and watch reruns of “Bewitched” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”. Even his technical reading mater is dustily dated, I spotted a copy of the old weekly aviation encyclopaedia “Take Off” on his space bunk. What sad ubergeek would still have that? It’s issue # 15 and came out in 1988. Very interesting article on carpet bombing Germany with B-17s, as well as a spiffing reference guide to business jets, including (Tee hee) the “Rockwell” Sabreliner Series. (Sometimes, I even let Arnold J. Rimmer borrow my copy.)

There aren’t many other faces to take the focus off Rockwell’s cleverly star-crossed performance, though I did notice that Matthew Berry has a minor, as opposed to a miner, role. Berry is well known to surreal genre buffs for being in “The IT Crowd”, “Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace” and “The Mighty Boosh”. Blink, and you’ll miss him here!

Poor Garth is well upstaged by the voice of Kevin Spacey, whose genre credits include: “Superman Returns”, “Seven”, “Outbreak”, “K-Pax”, “Austin Powers In Goldmember”, “Fred Claus” and the upcoming “The Men Who Stare At Goats”. It’s just as well he’s a voice actor too, (in “A Bug’s Life” at least) because he’s the calmly spoken GERTY, the base’s built-in HAL -9000 like computer/robot assistant. Actually Kubrick’s “2001” and its implacable Right Stuffy Space Rangers has a little less to do with the gritty tone of “Moon” than films like “Silent Running”, “Outland”, “Dark Star” and, at an existential stretch, “Solaris”. So, regarding rogue robots, you won’t find too many echoes of Duncan Jones’ bachelor degree in philosophy thesis: “How to Kill Your Computer Friend: An Investigation of the Mind/Body Problem and How It Relates to the Hypothetical Creation of a Thinking Machine.”

No, it’s not robot revolution that’s at the heart of Lunar Station Sarang’s (the Korean word for ‘love’) increasingly over pressurised troubles. Still, that entirely unflappable, too reasonable voice is one more reason to go over the edge and stay there. The film’s effectively evoked atmosphere is a low budget marvel and everything in the production design, from the womb like padded space suits to the cramped lunar rovers and the unyielding confines of the base itself, serve to bottle up the long suffering main character’s angst; as the human condition turns in on itself backed by a constant, air conditioned hum. (Craftsmanship like this doesn’t just happen, take a bow Production Designer Tony Noble, Costume Designer Jane Petrie and all your clever artisan Selenites!)

As an occassional propmaker myself I couldn’t help but keep an eye out for the usual recycled flotsam and jetsam being used in the sets, but for a film this low budget I was quite surprised that even I had trouble identifying the usual junk, apart from a few repainted plastic cutlery draw liners and packaging discards. I also suspect extensive reliance upon real miniatures and models tweaked with computer jiggerypokery also helped keep costs down. Oh, and Luna’s 1/6th Earth gravity is generally well depicted outside on the surface, with ‘moon hopping’ being the preferred (presumably wire rigged) mode of walking and roostertails of dust taking a long, stately time to fall. INSIDE the base, however, the filmmakers either worked around or ignored the issue. Given the questionably high level of biotechnology on display perhaps ‘The Company’ also makes artificial gravity generators?

I’m not sure if the main idea has enough juice to warrant an additional two planned sequels without serious tinkering but for the most part “Moon” is a deliberately slow paced, reflectively sturdy Science Fiction film, though veteran buffs will probably twig to what’s going on quickly enough. No real matter, the ending still feels organic to the plot, even if the ‘grand gesture’ finale doesn’t quite deliver on the measured build up. In a year that also yielded up the splendid “District 9”, “Moon” is a most impressive debut feature. You’ve really made the grade Mr Jones, protein pills all round!

Rob Jan
Zero-G

Here’s the podcast:

rrrfm.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=536589#

Posted by zero g on 2009-10-17 07:53:15

Tagged: , ROB JAN , ZERO-G , 3RRR FM , MOVIE , FILM , CINEMA , REVIEW , CRITIC , S.F , SCIENCE FICTION , SCI-FI , ALIENS , MAGAZINE , RADIO , SPACE , E.T , Sci Fi or Die! , Starship of the Imagination , Science Fiction Unleashed , The Film & Television Cafe , MOON , LUNA , LUNAR , SELENE , DUNCAN JONES , ZOWIE BOWIE , HELIUM 3 , FUSION , KEVIN SPACEY , GERTY , MINING , SPACE MINING , TAKE OFF , AVIATION , AEROSPACE , MAJOR TOM , SPACE ODDITY , DAVID BOWIE , ASTRONAUT , Sci-Fi Catchall , IRON MAN 50TH ANNIVERSARY , IRON MAN 50TH BIRTHDAY