For the 5,000 sailors aboard the USS Eisenhower, long days and nights are the norm. Everything from flight operations to trash disposal must run smoothly on this floating city. See how it works in 360 degrees.

View more unprecedented VR scenes from the Eisenhower:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlvHlI3rc2tPXY-woSW8SAb7PYOLSoEIn

Download the USA TODAY app for more great VR in the "Virtual Reality" section.

In the middle of deployment training off the Atlantic Coast, the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower's 5,000 sailors prepared for a missile strike.

Dressed in flame-retardant hoods and gloves, they practiced battling fires, containing flooding and testing for chemical or biological agents.

"All hands man battle stations," commanders instructed over the ship's communications system as alarms blared. "Missiles inbound, brace for shot."

Hours later, the Eisenhower's executive officer signaled the end of the night exercise. Robert Aguilar wasn't happy. 

"We are moving out of training and moving into combat," he told the ship. "This is no time for smoking and joking. We are getting ourselves ready for the war that we are headed into."

That was in April 2016. The Eisenhower and its accompanying carrier strike group, more than 7,000 sailors in total, deployed two months later to the eastern Mediterranean, where they joined the international fight to contain ISIS and served as a deterrent to threats from Russia, Iran, Syria and others in the volatile region.

Where to find "USS Eisenhower VR"

The USA TODAY NETWORK VR team and a reporter from the Pensacola News Journal visited the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to gather exclusive 360-degree video and photos during three days of round-the-clock air operations. An interactive VR experience for the HTC Vive allows the user to explore a virtual model of the Eisenhower and discover 360-degree photos and videos from above and below deck. 

“Eisenhower VR” is the first time a major news organization has told a story combining 360-degree video and VR interactivity on such a large scale. 

Interactive versions are available for the HTC Vive and for Google Daydream headsets.  360-degree video features are best-viewed on smartphones or VR via the Virtual Reality section of the USA TODAY app (iOS | Android), the USA TODAY YouTube and Facebook channels. Samsung Gear or Playstation VR users can find the videos in the Littlstar app.
****************
Humankind: Amazing moments that give us hope ➤ http://bit.ly/2MrPxvd
Humankind: Stories worth sharing ➤ http://bit.ly/2FWYXNP
Just the FAQs ➤ http://bit.ly/2Dw3Wnh
Animalkind ➤ http://bit.ly/2GdNf2j
The Wall ➤ http://bit.ly/2sksl8F

From the USA TODAY NETWORK and YouTube, it’s the debut of VRtually There, a weekly adventure with three cool VR experiences. First, takeoff in an F-18 on the aircraft carrier USS Eisenhower. Next, look fear in the face with a group of slackliners balancing on a narrow, springy rope hundreds of feet above the ground in a canyon in Sedona, AZ. Then float to picturesque Albuquerque, NM, with hundreds of hot air balloonists for the world’s largest balloon festival. Don’t forget to look around!

Subscribe NOW to VRtually There and never miss an episode!

If you like this, check out our second episode here, where we take you wing-walking on a plane and skateboarding with X-Games pros: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TX03Pm9nO0

And our third episode, for those of you who want the thrill of skydiving without the risk to life and limb: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiVB4d6cUxQ

Watch USA TODAY 360 and VR videos: https://www.youtube.com/USATODAY or http://www.usatoday.com/vrstories/

DOWNLOAD our apps: http://www.usatoday.com/mobile-apps/

Read more about the series and our plans here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2016/10/20/usa-today-network-debuts-first-vr-news-show/92412428/

And here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/nation-now/2016/10/20/take-off-f-18-and-balance-100-foot-cliff-vrtually-there/92450952/

Step aboard the USS Eisenhower during the biggest combat training in recent Navy history. Experience jet launches, landings and high-stakes drills in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

View more unprecedented VR scenes from the Eisenhower:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlvHlI3rc2tPXY-woSW8SAb7PYOLSoEIn

Download the USA TODAY app for more great VR in the "Virtual Reality" section.

In the middle of deployment training off the Atlantic Coast, the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower's 5,000 sailors prepared for a missile strike.

Dressed in flame-retardant hoods and gloves, they practiced battling fires, containing flooding and testing for chemical or biological agents.

"All hands man battle stations," commanders instructed over the ship's communications system as alarms blared. "Missiles inbound, brace for shot."

Hours later, the Eisenhower's executive officer signaled the end of the night exercise. Robert Aguilar wasn't happy. 

"We are moving out of training and moving into combat," he told the ship. "This is no time for smoking and joking. We are getting ourselves ready for the war that we are headed into."

That was in April 2016. The Eisenhower and its accompanying carrier strike group, more than 7,000 sailors in total, deployed two months later to the eastern Mediterranean, where they joined the international fight to contain ISIS and served as a deterrent to threats from Russia, Iran, Syria and others in the volatile region.

Where to find "USS Eisenhower VR"

The USA TODAY NETWORK VR team and a reporter from the Pensacola News Journal visited the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to gather exclusive 360-degree video and photos during three days of round-the-clock air operations. An interactive VR experience for the HTC Vive allows the user to explore a virtual model of the Eisenhower and discover 360-degree photos and videos from above and below deck. 

“Eisenhower VR” is the first time a major news organization has told a story combining 360-degree video and VR interactivity on such a large scale. 

Interactive versions are available for the HTC Vive and for Google Daydream headsets.  360-degree video features are best-viewed on smartphones or VR via the Virtual Reality section of the USA TODAY app (iOS | Android), the USA TODAY YouTube and Facebook channels. Samsung Gear or Playstation VR users can find the videos in the Littlstar app.
****************
Humankind: Amazing moments that give us hope ➤ http://bit.ly/2MrPxvd
Humankind: Stories worth sharing ➤ http://bit.ly/2FWYXNP
Just the FAQs ➤ http://bit.ly/2Dw3Wnh
Animalkind ➤ http://bit.ly/2GdNf2j
The Wall ➤ http://bit.ly/2sksl8F

For the first time ever, experience the amazing sight of an aircraft carrier in full combat training mode in 3D stereoscopic VR.

View more unprecedented VR scenes from the Eisenhower:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlvHlI3rc2tPXY-woSW8SAb7PYOLSoEIn

Download the USA TODAY app for more great VR in the "Virtual Reality" section.

In the middle of deployment training off the Atlantic Coast, the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower's 5,000 sailors prepared for a missile strike.

Dressed in flame-retardant hoods and gloves, they practiced battling fires, containing flooding and testing for chemical or biological agents.

"All hands man battle stations," commanders instructed over the ship's communications system as alarms blared. "Missiles inbound, brace for shot."

Hours later, the Eisenhower's executive officer signaled the end of the night exercise. Robert Aguilar wasn't happy.

"We are moving out of training and moving into combat," he told the ship. "This is no time for smoking and joking. We are getting ourselves ready for the war that we are headed into."

That was in April 2016. The Eisenhower and its accompanying carrier strike group, more than 7,000 sailors in total, deployed two months later to the eastern Mediterranean, where they joined the international fight to contain ISIS and served as a deterrent to threats from Russia, Iran, Syria and others in the volatile region.

Where to find "USS Eisenhower VR"

The USA TODAY NETWORK VR team and a reporter from the Pensacola News Journal visited the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to gather exclusive 360-degree video and photos during three days of round-the-clock air operations. An interactive VR experience for the HTC Vive allows the user to explore a virtual model of the Eisenhower and discover 360-degree photos and videos from above and below deck.

“Eisenhower VR” is the first time a major news organization has told a story combining 360-degree video and VR interactivity on such a large scale.

Interactive versions are available for the HTC Vive and for Google Daydream headsets. 360-degree video features are best-viewed on smartphones or VR via the Virtual Reality section of the USA TODAY app (iOS | Android), the USA TODAY YouTube and Facebook channels. Samsung Gear or Playstation VR users can find the videos in the Littlstar app.
****************
Humankind: Amazing moments that give us hope ➤ http://bit.ly/2MrPxvd
Humankind: Stories worth sharing ➤ http://bit.ly/2FWYXNP
Animalkind: Cute, cuddly & curious animals ➤ http://bit.ly/2GdNf2j
Just the FAQs: When news breaks, we break it down for you ➤ http://bit.ly/2Dw3Wnh
The Wall: An in-depth examination of Donald Trump’s border wall ➤ http://bit.ly/2sksl8F

Explore the USS Eisenhower during combat training and see why the flight deck of an aircraft carrier is one of the most dangerous spots in the world to work.

View more unprecedented VR scenes from the Eisenhower:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLlvHlI3rc2tPXY-woSW8SAb7PYOLSoEIn

Download the USA TODAY app for more great VR in the "Virtual Reality" section.

In the middle of deployment training off the Atlantic Coast, the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower's 5,000 sailors prepared for a missile strike.

Dressed in flame-retardant hoods and gloves, they practiced battling fires, containing flooding and testing for chemical or biological agents.

"All hands man battle stations," commanders instructed over the ship's communications system as alarms blared. "Missiles inbound, brace for shot."

Hours later, the Eisenhower's executive officer signaled the end of the night exercise. Robert Aguilar wasn't happy. 

"We are moving out of training and moving into combat," he told the ship. "This is no time for smoking and joking. We are getting ourselves ready for the war that we are headed into."

That was in April 2016. The Eisenhower and its accompanying carrier strike group, more than 7,000 sailors in total, deployed two months later to the eastern Mediterranean, where they joined the international fight to contain ISIS and served as a deterrent to threats from Russia, Iran, Syria and others in the volatile region.

Where to find "USS Eisenhower VR"

The USA TODAY NETWORK VR team and a reporter from the Pensacola News Journal visited the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to gather exclusive 360-degree video and photos during three days of round-the-clock air operations. An interactive VR experience for the HTC Vive allows the user to explore a virtual model of the Eisenhower and discover 360-degree photos and videos from above and below deck. 

“Eisenhower VR” is the first time a major news organization has told a story combining 360-degree video and VR interactivity on such a large scale. 

Interactive versions are available for the HTC Vive and for Google Daydream headsets.  360-degree video features are best-viewed on smartphones or VR via the Virtual Reality section of the USA TODAY app (iOS | Android), the USA TODAY YouTube and Facebook channels. Samsung Gear or Playstation VR users can find the videos in the Littlstar app.
****************
Humankind: Amazing moments that give us hope ➤ http://bit.ly/2MrPxvd
Humankind: Stories worth sharing ➤ http://bit.ly/2FWYXNP
Animalkind: Cute, cuddly & curious animals ➤ http://bit.ly/2GdNf2j
Just the FAQs: When news breaks, we break it down for you ➤ http://bit.ly/2Dw3Wnh
The Wall: An in-depth examination of Donald Trump’s border wall ➤ http://bit.ly/2sksl8F

Fly to the edge of space in a US Air Force high altitude aircraft. SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Maj. Thomas Ryan of the 99th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron has just reached 2,000 flying hours, a rare milestone in the career of a U-2 Dragon Lady pilot.

The 99th ERS mission pilot is only the 25th U-2 pilot in history to reach that mark, with more than 1,000 of those hours in direct support of combat operations.

Maj. Ryan returned from his flight looking a little flushed, but happy.

"After that last flight, my bum hurts, my back is sore, I feel tired and fatigued," he said. "But I feel great!"

The achievement marks a major step in his storied Air Force career, which began in 2001 after a 12-year stint in the U.S. Coast Guard. Since then, Maj. Ryan has deployed 14 times in support of current operations and also served a one-year remote tour. Ten of those deployments have been to the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing and he will return at least once more before retiring.

Maj. Ryan is also the only U-2 pilot to make the transition from the Coast Guard. With his addition, there is now a U-2 pilot from every branch of the U.S. military in service at this time.

A reception committee greeted Maj. Ryan after his 10-hour flight. The group included the maintenance support personnel as well has his squadron and wing leaders.
Brig. Gen. H.D. Polumbo, Jr., commander of the 380th AEW, noted the personal and professional significance of his accomplishment.

"When you have an officer who has flown as long as Maj. Ryan has in the U-2, it gives me plenty of confidence to report back to the Combined Forces Air Component Commander that we can do the tough missions" said Gen. Polumbo.

Not only does that experience have operational value here, Maj. Ryan uses his experience to mentor new pilots at his home station of Beale Air Force Base, Calif., as an instructor pilot.

"He's provided me with some tips that I've incorporated into my skill set, improving my understanding of the jet and enhancing my ability to continue flying the U-2 in a combat environment," said Gen. Polumbo.

A U-2 pilot's mission typically involves flying to approximately 70,000 feet while wearing a full pressure suit, much like an astronaut. The missions are typically in excess of 9 hours long and are used to gather intelligence information essential to wartime operations.

In light of all this, achieving the 2,000 flying-hour mark takes not only dedication and focus, but great discipline, judgment, and stamina, said Gen. Polumbo.

In light of technological improvements to the U-2 systems and the speed at which imagery can be sent to analysts, the aircraft has seen an increase in sorties at deployed locations. This requires the pilots to log more hours to support the mission.

"I couldn't be more proud of Tom," said Lt. Col. Vincent Catich, the 99th ERS commander. "He flies for 10 hours a day every four days. That is absolutely incredible. He is a true asset and American hero."

Reaching such a career milestone can mean much more when it is in support of combat missions in the operational theater while surrounded by fellow Airmen, all working toward the same mission.

"When you see him around, go ahead and shake his hand and congratulate him," said Gen. Polumbo.

Video Description Credit: Staff Sgt. Mike Andriacco

Video Credit: Airman 1st Class Andrew Buchanan

Thumbnail Credit: Airman 1st Class Andrew Buchanan Modified by ArmedForcesUpdate

360° Cockpit View F-5 Tiger II Supersonic Fighter Aircraft | The F-5 Tiger II, a single-seat twin-engined supersonic fighter aircraft, was developed by Northrop Grumman, US. The aircraft took its maiden flight on 11 August 1972 and entered into service in 1975. It is the upgraded version of the F-5A Freedom fighter aircraft developed by Northrop Grumman in early 1959.

The production of F-5A-21 began in 1970 by Northrop Grumman and at the same time the aircraft was renamed ‘F-5E Tiger II’. The avionics of the F-5E Tiger II are more sophisticated compared to the earlier version F-5A aircraft. It rolled out from production in 1987 and since then has undergone various upgrades to compete with changing combat environments.

The aircraft costs are low and can be easily maintained compared to the F-15 and F-16 aircraft. It was used in the Cold War by the US Air Force (USAF) for training and war purposes. The aircraft can accommodate a single pilot.

F-5 Tiger II orders and development
The Switzerland Government unveiled a decision in January 2010 to replace its F-5 Tiger II fleet with modern combat aircraft as the fleet is approaching the end of its operational life. The Swiss Air Force acquired 66 F-5E single-seater aircraft under the armaments programme in 1975.

Northrop Grumman signed a contract with RUAG aviation in May 2010 to provide worldwide sustainment and lifecycle logistics and offer a broad capability to customers of F-5 Tiger aircraft.

In August 2010, the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) decided to incorporate advanced ejection seats in the cockpit of its F-5 fleet in order to save pilots during emergency landings.

A total of 150 F-5s will be equipped with ejection seats at a cost of $4.2m. The work is scheduled for completion by 2013.

The Brazilian Air Force awarded a contract to Embraer Defence and Security (EDS) in April 2011 to overhaul 11 additional F-5 jet fighters. EDS subsequently awarded an $85m subcontract to AEL Sistemas to offer engineering services and supply mission computers, display systems, radars, electronic warfare systems, ammunition management systems and modern avionics suite. The overhaul is scheduled for completion by 2013.

F-5E Tiger II aircraft variants
The F-5E Tiger II aircraft has two variants, namely F-5E Tiger III and F-5EM.

The F-5E Tiger III is an upgraded model of the F-5E Tiger II and is principally used by the Chilean Air Force for training its pilots. In 2009, the 16 F-5E Tiger III aircraft were replaced with F-16 MLU T5.

The F-5EM, another variant, is an advanced model of the F-5E and was developed by Northrop Grumman for the Brazilian Air Force.

Supersonic fighter aircraft design
The aircraft is designed to offer great versatility and superiority during air-to-ground and air-to-air operations. It has been designed to have only 30% of the gross weight of the F-4 aircraft. The length and width of the fuselage section was extended to accommodate the powerful J85 engine and more fuel.

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