Black Hornet: The Tiny Beast Drone of the U.S Military

Although it weighs only 0.63 ounces, the Black Hornet is the latest in spy technology. As a  tiny unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), it 
 provides superior reconnaissance of enemy positions. Brought forth by Prox Dynamics, this nano drone allows the U.S military to spy on prospective threats. Although it is small, the Hornet helps to save the lives of front line U.S military soldiers. 

Although expensive ($195,000), it is a precision instrument that can easily fit into a pouch pocket or a hand’s palm. A relatively simple drone, the Hornet is equipped with a high-tech camera and and is controlled via a remote device. Through a chest-mounted screen, the pilot or person operating the drone watches the video as it moves towards its target of operation.  A container on the pilot stores the data the hornet sends back. Therefore, if enemies capture the black hornet, they won’t know what the drone saw. The Black Hornet can last about twenty minutes in the air. Furthermore, its range is about two-thirds of a mile and it has the ability to film in normal light and infrared.

The Hornet was first developed in April 2008. However, it was approved for mass production in early 2012 only after it performed several test flights and went through all sorts of tests. At this point of time, the drone is deployed by the U.S military in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Understanding the construction of the black hornet drone

Made up of a durable, plastic-shaped shell, the black hornet has an aerodynamic shape which allows it to stand firm against stormy winds. Hidden within its nose, three surveillance cameras are what the tiny black hornet is equipped with. In the complete black hornet system, you will find a base station and two unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). Each UAV or drone has a 120 mm rotor span and approximate length of 10mm. A lightweight drone, the black hornet drone weighs only 18 grams. This includes the weight of the surveillance. In fact, the entire black hornet system weighs less than a kg.

Features of the Black Hornet

Designed for ease of transportation, the aforementioned drone of the U.S military can fit in a soldier’s pocket. Along with their gear, U.S military personnel can carry the entire black hornet drone system. Thanks to the black hornet’s extremely small dimensions, the person operating the drone can use it effectively in threat-prone and congested areas. A good thing about black hornet is that it’s almost noise-free. This allows the person operating the drone to keep it hidden from enemies.

Requiring less than a minute to takeoff, the done is extremely effective in getting the job done, which includes spying on the enemy and providing the military with useful intelligence. For this reason, the military considers it  a significant asset.


USNS Comfort- The Hospital Ship of the U.S Military

Along with the USNS Mercy, the USNS Comfort is the largest hospital ship of the U.S military. What is a hospital ship? A hospital ship refers to a hospital or medical treatment facility on the seas. As they are built to serve in and near war zones, most hospital ships are operated by the military. This includes the USNS Comfort which is operated by the U.S military. Since the only purpose of hospital ships is to tend to the injured and sick, attacking them is considered a crime. Now that we’re done discussing what hospital ships refer to, it’s time to turn our attention to the subject at hand i.e. the USNS Comfort.

USNS Comfort Hospital Ship
USNS Comfort on route to Haiti

Understanding USNS Comfort

To date, the USNS Comfort of the U.S military has treated over a hundred thousand patients. When it comes to size, the USNS Comfort is a beast. The height of the ship is equivalent to a ten-story building and its length sizes up to three football fields. At all times, the USNS Comfort has seven hundred medical personnel on board. Furthermore, it encompasses twelve operating rooms and five thousand units of blood. The USNS Comfort is a medical and military marvel since it has over thousand beds, medical labs, radiological services, twelve fully equipped operating rooms, optometry labs, burn care and physical therapy, dental services, intensive care units, pharmacies, two oxygen factories and CAT scan.

How the USNS Comfort serves humanity

The USNS Comfort brings relief to thousands of people affected by natural disasters by joining hands with volunteers belonging to non-governmental medical organizations. History is full of events where the USNS Comfort brought relief to the people of the world. Most notably, the USNS Comfort played significant roles in treating and bringing relief to people affected by Hurricane Katrina, the Southeast Asia tsunami and the Haiti Earthquake.

The good thing about USNS Comfort is that it does not carry any offensive weapons. After all, the purpose of the USNS Comfort is to bring relief to people and not attack them. Also, there isn’t any need for the USNS to carry any weapons since the Geneva Conventions explicitly state that attacking hospital ship is a war crime punishable by law. Although the USNS is operated by the U.S military, the medical personnel on board are all civilians who often take help from volunteers belonging to various NGOs.

Apart from performing medical treatments on the ship, the crew of the USNS Comfort set up temporary medical sites on shore. After setting up the medical sites on shore, the crew provides medical supplies to people affected by war or natural disasters. The staff of the USNS Comfort work tirelessly each day and thus needs to be fed well. This is the reason this hospital ship of the U.S military is equipped with a state of the art kitchen and has master chefs who prepare delicious cuisines for the seven hundred medical personnel on board. For all the aforementioned reasons, the USNS Comfort is a prized asset of the U.S military.

The Night Vision Goggles Used by the U.S Military

Today, an essential U.S military tool is night vision. Using night vision devices, U.S military personnel can fly helicopters and fighter planes and perform covert operations against enemies and insurgents during the dark of night. A popular and widely used night vision device is night vision goggles. Over the past few decades, U.S military personnel have used these devices in ground combat and search operations. Currently, the U.S military uses the PVS-7 night vision goggles. Let’s take at a look at features of the PVS-7 night vision goggles.

Understanding PVS-7 night vision goggles

night vision goggles cut_image
A single tube and dual eye night vision system, the PVS-7 allows U.S military personnel to see in the night and in places where visibility is low. Also, by significantly reducing operator fatigue, the PVS-7 enhances the attention of the military personnel in search operations. Made of thoroughly tested components, the PVS-7 has proven itself in combat. This is the reason the
U.S military has been using it for decades. In order to ensure its long-term use, the PVS-7 is built lightweight and waterproof.

Supplied to the U.S military, the PVS-7 night vision goggles ensure excellent night vision performance. In order to ensure an outstanding performance, the PVS-7 night vision goggles provide users with a dual eye configuration and a generation 3 image tube. The PVS-7 features fully computerized image tube protection and easy to use controls. The PVS-7 night vision goggles ensure complete freedom of movement for users.

Night Vision Solider
An aircrewman on an HH-60H Black Hawk helicopter scans the ground with night vision lenses during an air assault mission to search for insurgents and weapons caches in Taji, Iraq, July 3, 2006. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael Larson) (Released)

An infrared illuminator also features in the PVS-7. Within the user’s view field, low battery and infrared operation indicators are displayed. In order to ensure comfortable use, the PVS-7 night vision goggles come with a fully adjustable and lightweight strap. Also, a number of optional accessories are available with the PVS-7 including helmet mounting bracket, infrared spot lens, compass and high magnification lenses.

For ease and operation, the PSV-7 has an intelligent design. A more natural viewing experience is ensured by the dual eye configuration. Furthermore, the PVS-7 has comfortable and soft head mounts. Made of battle proven night vision parts, the PSV-7 is extremely durable and features long-range lens. Finally, it is waterproof and encompasses tactile button. This ensures the long life of PCV7 and its use in extreme conditions. For long, the PCV7 has been employed as the primary U.S military night vision goggle. However, of late, the U.S military has started to consider more technologically advanced night vision goggles. This is what we’re going to discuss next.

The new-age night vision goggles of the U.S military

In 2018, the U.S military is set to introduce and equip its personnel with technologically advanced night vision goggles.

These night vision goggles are expected to feature thermal sights and be Wi-Fi enabled. The new-age night vision goggles will allow the U.S military personnel to study and reach their targets with pinpoint accuracy. 

Understanding B61-12: America’s Most Dangerous Weapon

B-61 Bomb
B61 bomb in stages of assembly. The nuclear component is contained in the small, silver cylinder near the upper middle.

The U.S military has many weapons at its disposal and some are also used not just as a weapon, but also as a deterrent to threatening nations (The best defense is a good offense).  However, when it comes to an offensive defense, nothing is more frightening to an enemy than a weapon of mass destruction. In its arsenal, the United States has approximately 16,300 nuclear weapons. Of those,, the most deadly is the B61-12 nuclear bomb. To date, much has written about the B61-12. Unfortunately, most of it has been regarding its cost. Therefore, we will address the specifications of the B61-12 features in this article. So what does the B61-12 have that the other WMDs don’t? Let’s take a look.

The Features of B61-12 Nuclear Weapon

The U.S military takes pride in the B61-12 nuclear weapon and rightfully so. It is an intermediate strategic and tactical nuclear weapon featuring a two-stage radiation implosion design; in other words, this bomb is a monster that can gobble up the enemy with ease. The biggest benefit of the B61-12 is its usability. The low-yield and precision accuracy of the B61-12 define its usability. It is head and shoulders above the rest, as it’s the only nuclear-guided missile that the U.S. has. Compared to the 110-170 meters circular error probabilities (CEP) of other American nuclear bombs, the B61-12 has a CEP of just 30 meters.

The B61-12 has a maximum yield of fifty kilotons. Furthermore, for any particular U.S military mission, this yield can be lowered. Using a dial-a-yield system, the explosive force of the B61-12 nuclear bomb can easily be lowered. Thanks to these features, this device is the most usable bomb in the U.S military arsenal. Although it isn’t the most powerful U.S. nuclear bomb, its accuracy makes it the most destructive and fearful.

The low-yield of the B61-12 ensures that if there’s a nuclear strike, no mass and indiscriminate killing of civilians occurs. Compared to the three to four million that other nuclear weapons would kill, the B61-12 bomb would claim only seven to eight hundred lives. Just a few decades ago, it was considered naive to think that nuclear weapons would claim a few lives and obtain the desired objective. If this feature is used, it would be mainly in the battle field as a tactical nuclear weapon. This feature of the B61-12 has made the use of nuclear weapons by the U.S military and this is something that the enemies of the U.S. dread. Knowledge that the US has such a weapn has made the U.S military even more potent and this is the reason it’s considered as a highly effective nuclear weapo

USS Zumwalt Class Destroyer -The Stealth Master

In the year 2013, the United States Navy was blessed with one of the stealthiest ships known in the history of mankind – the USS Zumwalt Class Destroyer. The ship is named after the Vietnam War hero, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt. Right now, the Zumwalt (DDG-1000) is undergoing its sea trials and is scheduled to be commissioned in Baltimore in October 2016.

The future of USS Zumwalt Class Destroyer and its role in the US Navy remains to be seen; however, the reason this ship has become the topic of discussion is because of its outstanding characteristics. Bath Iron Works certainly outdid themselves by giving this ship a catlike stealthiness. Let’s discover some of its other features:

About the Ship:

The USS Zumwalt, or as it is more commonly known by its technical name, the DDG-1000, is a high-tech warship. This ship has a net worth of $3 billion. The reason it is called a destroyer is because it has dual characteristics; defensive and offensive. It also has the capability of destroying missiles and can work in all kinds of missions; Individual ones or through collaborating with different groups.

At the moment, the ship is going through various demonstrations and sea trials. Yet, it is expected to become completely operational by the year 2019. While one destroyer is completely ready, the other one is also on course to completion and the construction of the third destroyer also in progress.

The Built Of the USS Zumwalt DDG-1000:

The reason that we said DDG-1000 is defensive is because of its Dual-Band Sonar Radars, which can detect any number of submerged mines in the sea and will help in giving a heads up to the crew during any attack – especially ones that would be too close to the shore.

The USS Zumwalt Class Destroyer is about 600-ft in length and being high-tech, runs on the electric drive system which not only makes this ship swifter, but also less noisy than its diesel counterparts.

Features That Set Zumwalt Apart:

The reason that the Zumwalt is considered one of the stealthiest ships is because of its powerful sensors and SPY-3 Multi-Function Radar. It allows the ship to detect any danger from far away. The structure of the ship is also super convenient; it contains various apertures and a low-key profile. Since the ship is large, it can also hold aerial vehicles, like 2 MH-60R or 3 Vertical Takeoff Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, along with 1 MH-60R.

This electrical power driven ship is equipped with AMI (Advanced Induction Motors) for generating power and IFTP (Integrated Fight through Power) for integrating it.

How Stealthy is the Zumwalt Class Destroyer?  

History might not have seen a ship as covert and sneaky as the DDG-1000 – and that is saying something, considering its hulking size. Even during normal test trials, it is so difficult to hide it that the crew uses giant reflectors to warn other ships of its presence. What makes it interesting is the fact that not only is its own radars super high-tech, but it also has the ability to hide its presence from other ships. So, another crew might be picking up signals of a few fish vessels when on coming close, they’ll discover this giant mammoth of a ship looming over them.

For now, 3 Zumwalt-class destroyers are being prepared and by the year 2019, they will be fully functional.


Alvin York and Henry Johnson- Two of the Most Notable American Military Heroes of WWI

Greatness, it is often said, comes out of the most trying and rather difficult times. This is probably the reason why some of the most inspiring stories are embedded in times of human suffering such as war and genocide. Crisis in such times is not only restrained to the front line battle between two opposing parties and their conflicting ideologies; it is also the moral crisis which seeps deeper into societies. The ones who are remembered as great are those who held onto their moral responsibility by responding, in words and action, in a way that’s right and just.

Some of the WW I heroes of the United States Armed Forces are remembered for just these reasons; for persevering and staying steadfast and honest in the role they were given. Continue reading to know about two of the most notable ones, Sergeant Alvin Cork and Henry Johnson.

Alvin York

Many would be surprised to know that he opposed the idea of fighting in a war on ground because it conflicted with his religious ideology which was focused on peacefulness and nonviolence. Belonging to Tennessee, York was actually forced to join the ground troops. It was October 8th, 1918 when during the well known Meuse Argonne Offensive, York along with his team had been able to capture seventeen German troops. It is here that they were attacked with heavily loaded machine guns from all sides which reportedly killed nine of his companions. He responded promptly by first escaping the sight and then targeting German shooters one after the other with the help of his rifle. Bringing his 0.45 pistol to good use, he killed six of the German shooters when they tried to attack him with bayonets. He eventually made the remaining ones to surrender and captured them while killing some 20 during the combat. When the war was over, he got back to his original occupation of farming even after receiving a Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross.

Henry Johnson

Belonging to the National Guard of black soldiers famously called the Harlem Hellfighters, Johnson and some of his black companions did unskilled labor during the initial war stages. But when the French army ranks were swiftly getting exhausted, they were sent over to fill in for them. He secured a spot for himself in the books of history on 14th May, 1918 when attacked by twenty German troops in the wee hours of the night. Henry Johnson, along with Needham Roberts, was serving the duty of sentinel when the attack took place. While Roberts was injured to the point of immobility, Johnson stayed steadfast and attacked back consistently with rifle as well as hand grenades. When he could no longer use his weapons due to being jammed, he utilized them for hand to hand combat, not stopping even once. Upon seeing the Germans trying to take away Roberts, he started stabbing them with the only weapon left with him; a bolo knife, attacking until they retreated.

The Top Five U.S Military Special Operation Units

An irrefutable charisma is what the U.S military special operation units have always held. As they often work secretly, the exploits of these specially chosen soldiers are almost of fabled nature. When laymen hear the word: special operations units, they immediately envision a group of super troopers. However, what they don’t know is that SO units are time and again fashioned for specific missions. Some of the missions include counter terrorism, foreign internal defense, strategic investigation and irregular warfare.

There are also some SO units that have expertise in direct action missions such as ambushes and raids. However, each unit is unique and primed for their specific job. There are some U.S military special operation units that stand above the rest. Here are the top five U.S military special operation units.

  1. USMC Force Reconnaissance

At fifth place is USMC Force Reconnaissance. Incepted in 1957, the USMC Force Reconnaissance has been performing direct action missions as well as extensive reconnaissance since its birth. For people not familiar with this term, reconnaissance means military investigation of an area to determine strategic features or unearth an enemy.

  1. U.S Army Delta Force

Founded in November 1977, U.S Army Delta Force generally comprises of quiet and multitalented professionals. This unit is usually involved in information operations, counter terrorism, special reconnaissance, and irregular warfare.

  1. U.S Intelligence Support Activity

Obvious from the name itself, U.S Intelligence Support Activity is involved in the task of gathering intelligence information. Gathering intelligence information is the primary function of this special operations unit. In order to gather information, U.S Intelligence Support Activity soldiers track and monitor radio communication and go undercover.

  1. U.S Army Ranger Regiment (75th)

Headquartered at Ft. Benning, GA, U.S Army 75th Ranger Regiment includes three special operations battalions and a Special Troops Battalion. The Ranger Regiment performs a number of specialized operations such as responding to crisis situations within and outside of the United States.

  1. U.S Navy Seals

The most popular U.S military special operations unit, the U.S Navy Seals is arguably the most prudent U.S SO unit around. In existence since World War 2, the U.S Navy Seals has fought many battles and won most (if not all) of them. The primary responsibility of this unit is safeguarding the U.S coast and beaches.


Notable Women of the US Military

The role of women in US armed forces has seen a major uplift in the past few decades in terms of both ground and air combat. Witnessing a woman in any major role in the military used to be a rarity about a century ago. Today, they are actively taking part in such military roles as at hard core combat and command that were only considered the forte of men.

Few of such women merit a mention because of how unabashedly they defy the stereotypical gender roles through their actions and come across as true wonder women;

Major Lauren Edwards

Originally a combat engineer belonging to the Marine Corps, Major Lauren Edwards stood true to the need of the hour when during leading a convoy of combat engineers in war torn Iraq (2003), her unit came under attack. Having never been directly fired at before, it came as a surprise when she led and strategically defended the group of roughly one-fifty engineers and all the vehicles along.

Sergeant Leigh Ann Hester

Since World War II, Sgt. Leigh Anne happens to be the first woman to have earned the Silver Star Medal, and for good reason.  She utilized her close combat antics when her squad got fired at in Iraq during the war. When almost dozen insurgents attacked, she walked right into the line of fire to directly take down three of the Iraqi insurgents from a dangerously close range. The right impulse and quick decision making are two crucial factors in such a situation; she proved to be a master in both as she saved the lives of her convoy members.

Lt. General Patricia Horoho

Having assumed the highest medical rank of the US Army as the forty-third Surgeon General, Patricia Horoho has been able to make reality something that hasn’t happened in the last two hundred years; being a female non-physician to take up the Surgeon General Rank, that too while working in the capacity of a nurse. Her extensive experience in the trauma units won her the revered Society of Trauma Nurses Leadership Award as well.

Cpl. Mary Beth Monson

Corporal Mary Beth won the Woman of the Year Military Leadership Award in 2013 for the way she maintained her calm and composure while acting strategically when her base came under fire. She was deployed in Afghanistan when a few combatants, disguising as American soldiers but actually belonging to the enemy, launched a full blown assault on the base.  During the attack, she acted heroically by helping everyone inside keep calm while after that, she spent a good eighty hours cleaning the place when it wasn’t a part of her unit’s responsibilities. Her strategic yet quick approach of taking things in control in the face of an unforeseen blow made her stand out as one of the most composed female officers.

Why the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is Replacing the Military’s Fighter Jets

A fifth generation fighter aircraft, Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II offers the U.S military advanced stealth along with network-enabled operations, fighter speed and agility, advanced support and completely amalgamated sensor information. The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is available in three different types. The three Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II types are meant for the three main factions of the U.S military i.e. the army, the navy, and the air force. Each faction is assigned a different Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II type.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II type assigned to the U.S Air Force will replace the F-16 and A-10, the F-35 Lightning II type assigned to the U.S Navy will replace the F/A-18  and the Lightning II type assigned to the U.S Marine Corps will replace the AV-8B. Why is the U.S military replacing its old fighter aircrafts with the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II? There are many reasons for this. However, we’re going to look at some of the primary ones.

A single seat and single engine fighter aircraft, the lightning II encompasses advanced sensors built into the aircraft. The lightning II is designed for a variety of missions including electronic attack, reconnaissance, surveillance and intelligence missions. Previously, each of these missions required a different aircraft. However, the inception of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II has changed all that. Now, missions of all kind can be carried out using a single aircraft: the F-35 Lightning II.

When it comes to U.S military aviation, the F-35’s stealth capabilities are unrivalled. The stealth features of the F-35 are optimized by advanced materials and an integrated airframe design. The superior advantages that the F-35 has over other aircrafts are showcased by its stealth power, electronic attack capabilities, advanced countermeasures, data fusion, and sophisticated sensors.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II performs in a unique manner. The factors that contribute to this performance are the F-35’s state of the art manufacturing processes, immersed mission systems sensors, internal weapons and fuel carriage and external shape.

An international team of leading aerospace companies develop, produce, and support the Martin F-35 Lightning II. This makes it easy to understand why the F-35 Lightning II is head and shoulders above other fighter aircrafts. In short, compared to the other fighter aircrafts, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II provides the U.S military greater access and survivability in times of conventional warfare. Therefore, it’s a preferred choice!


Aircrafts of the USAF

The US Air Force is known across the world for its superior air power dominance.  What is it that sets the USAF apart from other Air Forces? It comes down to  technology, practice (war games) and skill.

The USAF’s air fleet consists of custom-made airframes that enable them to carry out and complete different missions effectively. Of course the aircrafts need a pilot to navigate, operate and maneuver them in order to ensure successful completion of each operation assigned to them.  

Here’s a list of some of the mean machines that make up a part of the total USAF fleet.

B-52 Stratofortress

The Stratofortress is a long-range bomber aircraft.  It has been in use since the 1950s and was one of the primary vehicles used during the war in Vietnam. The B52s have since been outfitted with the latest technical military advances so that it can continue Its mission in executing the extensive range of tasks it has always been capable of taking on. In times of conflicts, the B-52 serves the USAF for strategic attacks, close air support, maritime and counter-air missions, and surveillance and its ability to fly up to 80,000 feet makes it invulnerable to many of today’s ground to air missiles.

B-2 Spirit

The next generation of bomber. The stealth bomber B-2 Spirit has the ability to carry both nuclear and conventional armaments on board.

B-1B Lancer

The bomber B-1B Lancer currently forms the backbone of the USAF’s combat fleet. It is capable of carrying out multiple missions with large quantities of weaponry that includes both non-precision and precision weapons. The aircraft boasts the largest payload capacity in the USAF fleet.


The highly maneuverable F-15 fighter is designed for greater air dominance in air-to-air combat. The upgraded F-15E variation comes with the additional capability of executing air-to-ground combat missions with exceptional precision.

F-16 Fighting Falcon

Most of you might be familiar with this one already. The multi-purpose F-16 aircrafts are used by the USAF for both air-to-ground and air-to-air combat. These solid machines are compact and offer greater maneuverability for missions.

F-22 Raptor

This  is the only combat ready fighter jet belonging to the fifth-generation. It is the most recently employed aircraft in the USAF. The fighter offers stealth combined with advanced avionics, exceptional maneuverability, and supercruise mode for unmatched aerial supremacy.

HH-60G Pave Hawk

The HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter is used for operations involving personnel recovery from hostile territories. It is also used for humanitarian assistance, disaster response, and search and rescue ops.


The HC-130 aircraft and its variants are serving the USAF as personnel recovery platforms. They are primarily used for evacuations and disaster response. This particular aircraft can operate and land on a diverse assortment of airfields.


This aircraft provides mid-air support, refueling, resupply, exfiltration, and infiltration for the special-operations forces. The aircraft is also used for carrying out secondary psychological missions, like air dropping leaflets to influence emotions and behaviors of particular groups of individuals.

T-6A Texan II

This aircraft is the basic trainer aircraft serving the USAF. The T-6A Texan II is used to provide primary flying skills, knowledge, and training to the US Navy and Air Force pilots.

T-38 Talon

The T-38 Talon too, is a USAF training jet. Its basic purpose is to train pilots for high-altitude supersonic flying missions. These missions are usually carried out by the A-10, B-1B, F-15E, and F-22 aircrafts.


This beauty is used for high-altitude reconnaissance and surveillance. The aircraft is capable of operating in all sorts of environmental and weather conditions. The U-2S/TU-2S plane is designed to capture HD photographic imagery and monitor for signals intelligence.

We bet you’re far more learned about the USAF than you were before you read this post. Currently the USAF uses 39 distinct aircrafts for its operations. Each aircraft and its variations serve a specific purpose. Without these aircrafts it’s safe to say that the USAF is incomplete.