The video shows clips of some of the technologies being used and developed, all of which are in the service of the US Military. Someone begins saying that he likes firepower and ammunition, and guns, and is revealed to be SSgt. Anthony Barnabe of the 127th Wing Weapons Element, narrating what it’s like to work on the A10 Thunderbolt II.
A voiceover starts the video off, saying that the A10 Thunderbolt II is always a welcome sight for the Allied Forces, better known as the Warthog. While it can be equipped with the most sophisticated weaponry, the Warthog is known for one distinct feature – the gun, officially the GAU-8 Avenger rotary cannon, the primary weapons system around which the A10 was built. It is essentially a flying cannon providing American firepower. Capt. Jason Holm, an A10 pilot with the 107th fighter squadron shows the rounds used on the gun. He says it’s the most flexible weapon they have, and the most effective.
One of the most significant aspects of the gun is the amount of firepower it can center on a target in very little time. It is a complex piece of heavy metal, consisting of seven rotating barrels, each seven and a half feet long and weighing 70 pounds each. The weapons are kept maintained and up to working order. MSgt. James Richard of the 127th Wing Weapons Element shows the ammunition loading adapter they use, referred to as the dragon and explains the process of loading the gun.
Pilots and ground personnel undergo intense and rigorous training with mock targets, using the planes to make sure they’re ready in case of actual combat.
Next is a clip of a man-sized robot being operated, and Dr. Thomas McKenna from the Office of Naval Research is interviewed. He says the substantial losses incurred in fires are being addressed by creating a fire-fighter robot called Shadwell that can put out fires and save lives. John Farley of the Naval Research Laboratory says that when ships are on fire, they should be controlled quickly to maintain fighting capabilities because of the number of weapons on board. Robots can be updated to operate hoses, aim them and suppress the fire. Dr. Brian Lattimer, a professor at Virginia Tech in the department of mechanical engineering says that robots are good for fire-fighting purposes as they can maneuver in tight spaces.
A report from SSgt Shannon Ofiara on Today’s Air Force follows, where she reports on what happens to Air Force planes after they’ve flown their last mission. They are actually taken to the “boneyard” in Tucson, Arizona, where they are recycled. TSgt Nicholas Kurtz reports that there are more than 4,000 aircraft at the boneyard, and if they were usable, they would be the second largest air force. They serve as parts, taken apart to be sold as scrap or reclaimed.
The report goes on to show how the planes are “put to rest” at the boneyard, some of which have served for decades. This project has been saving taxpayer money for years. The inventory is supposed to change in the next 20 or so years as technology is getting better to prolong aircraft life and take over some tasks that planes used to do.