The U.S. Air Force turns 66 today, so here are some amazing photos from its Flickr account.
Staff Sgt. Matthew Hanlon, 438th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron air advisor and aerial gunner, scans terrain for possible threats over Logar Province, Afghanistan, during a coalition mission July 29, 2013.
Members of the 191st Air Refueling Squadron conduct air refueling operations with a C-17 Globemaster III from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., Sept. 9, 2013. The 191st ARS routinely supports air operations across the western United States from their home station in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Pararescueman Senior Airman Jason Fischman hoists an Army tactical explosive detection dog into a HH-60G Pave Hawk during a joint rescue training scenario June 21, 2013, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. This training was a first for both branches and prepared them for future rescue missions. Fischman is deployed to 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England.
A U.S. Air Force Airman from the 23rd Special Tactics Squadron jumps out of the back of a MH-47 Chinook helicopter at Wynnehaven Beach, Fla., April 9, 2013. The 23rd STS partnered with 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) to conduct personnel recovery training using alternate infiltration and exfiltration techniques.
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- An Air Force C-17 airdrops about 60 Army paratroopers into JBER's Malemute Drop Zone on April 17.
Several MC-130E Combat Talon I's roll down the taxiway for their final sorties on April 15 at Duke Field, Fla. The last five Combat Talons in the Air Force belong to the 919th Special Operations Wing and were retired from service during a ceremony on April 25.
Tech. Sgt. Andrew Gravett walks along the top of a C-17 Globemaster III while wearing a safety harness as he does a routine maintenance check of the aircraft June 4, 2013, at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. The first C-17 to enter the Air Force's inventory arrived at Charleston Air Force Base in June 1993. The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. Gravett is a crew chief assigned to the 437th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.
A U.S. Army UH-60L Blackhawk takes off at Fairfield, Utah, June 20, 2012. The Soldiers are conducting practice jumps in order to prepare for a future exercise. The helicopter is flown by Soldiers of Det. 2, Company C, 1st General Support Aviation Battalion, 171st Aviation Regiment.
Maj. Aaron Lawson jumps from a C-17 Globemaster III Feb. 26, 2013, near Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam-Hawaii. The jump was filmed by veteran free-fall cameraman and skydiver cinematographer, Tom Sanders, and will be used in a scene on an upcoming episode of the television show "Hawaii Five-0." Lawson was given the opportunity to serve as a stunt double for actor Alex O'Loughlin who plays Steve McGarrett on the show and will be featured alongside Marine Corps Staff Sgt. John Phillips, SOCPAC jumper and parachute rigger, performing the free-fall jump. This episode will air April 15 on CBS at 10PM EST. Lawson is a Special Operations Command, Pacific jumper and special tactics officer.
1st Lt. Drew Parks communicates with a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet supporting Operation Spartan Shield Sept. 11, 2012, in Southwest Asia. Joint terminal attack controllers establish and maintain command and control communications, control air traffic, naval gun fire and provide precision terminal attack guidance of U.S. and coalition close air support. Parks is a joint terminal attack controller assigned to the 82nd Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron.
1920s -- Capt. Lowell Smith and Lt. John P. Richter, made the first mid-air refueling, June 1923, at Rockwell Field.
1970s -- A U.S. Marine and a U.S. Air Force pararescueman from the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (in wet suit) run for a U.S. Air Force helicopter during an assault on Koh Tang Island to rescue the U.S. Merchant ship Mayaguez and its crew May 15, 1975.
Parachutists with the U.S. Air Force Wings of Blue Parachute Competition Team attempt to set a three-point, 32-way college record during a jump competition Dec. 28, 2011, through Jan. 2, 2012, over Eloy, Ariz. Wings of Blue teams won multiple medals at the competition.
An Alaska Air National Guard pararescueman performs a high-altitude jump from a Coast Guard C-130 Hercules during a training mission June 23, 2011, above Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska.
A KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-16 Fighting Falcon over Afghanistan, on Dec. 22, 2012. The F-16 Fighting Falcon deployed from Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., received fuel to conduct missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The KC-135 Stratotanker is from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron.
Staff Sgt. Ashley Davin low crawls through the mud in Amesbury, Mass., Aug. 11, 2012. Davin was participating in the Spartan Race, testing her strength, endurance and resilience against a course of challenging obstacles. Davin is assigned to the 102nd Security Forces Squadron.
Master Sgt. Michael Atkins of the 48th Rescue Squadron is lowered to the water by Chief Master Sgt. Kenneth Price, 563rd Rescue Group superintendent, to rescue an injured survivor during Exercise Resolute Angel. The exercise, hosted by Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, was conducted in preparation for the upcoming hurricane season.
U.S. Air Force Academy cadets with the Air Force Wings of Blue Parachute Competition Team perform at the U.S. Parachuting Association's national championships Nov. 3, 2011, in Eloy, Ariz. The "Air Force Intrepid" competition team took first place in the four-person intermediate free-flying event.