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US Air Force and the Night Sky: Amazing Photos

Operation Spartan Shield Under Starry Sky

U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder

When you think of night sky photography, the U.S. military may not be at the top of your list. But U.S. Air Force photographers have captured some spectacular views of the night sky as part of their regular work chronicling American Air Force activities. See the amazing views in this SPACE.com gallery of USAF imagery. HERE: 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.

C-17 Globemaster III Soars Over Japan in Landmark Flight

U.S. Air Force photo/Osakabe Yasuo

A C-17 Globemaster III from the 3rd Wing, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson takes off March 22, 2014, at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Osakabe Yasuo took this photo on March 22, 2014 from Yokota Air Base, Japan. [Read the Full Story Behind this Photo]

Scanning the Terrain

U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts

U.S. Army soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment scan their area May 2, 2012, near Combat Outpost Sabari, Afghanistan. The Soldiers began a multi-day air assault mission near the Pakistani border of eastern Afghanistan's Khost province.

ATV Aglow Under Dazzling Night Sky

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder/Released

First Lt. Drew Parks grabs equipment from a Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected, All-Terrain Vehicle on Sept. 11, 2012, in Southwest Asia. Parks is a joint terminal attack controller with the 82nd Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron.

‘Black Birds’ Landing

U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock

U.S. Air Force Maj. James Rowe, an Air Force CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft pilot, and co-pilot Capt. Timothy Skypeck, both from the 8th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) "Black Birds," come in for a landing Jan. 26, 2011, during a local training mission at Hurlburt Field, Fla. The Osprey's primary mission in the 8th SOS is insertion, extraction, and re-supply of unconventional warfare forces and equipment into hostile or enemy-controlled territory using airland or airdrop procedures.

U.S. Air Force Training Exercise

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Donald Urqhart and Airman 1st Class Michael Pincheira look over a grid map before calling in a simulated airstrike at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., Aug. 14, 2011, during a Green Flag-West 11-9 training exercise. Urqhart and Pincheira are joint terminal attack controllers assigned to the 5th Air Support Operations Squadron at Fort Lewis, Wash.

Red Carpet: Hercules Performs Engine-Running Offload

U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Parker Gyokeres

A C-130J Hercules assigned to Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., performs an engine-running offload at Geronimo Landing Zone on Fort Polk, La., Oct. 17, 2012. The aircraft provided resupply to a major Joint Readiness Training Center exercise.

Strike Eagle Aircraft Illuminated by Lightning

U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht

A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle fighter aircraft is illuminated by a lightning storm near Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, Oct. 6, 2011.

Airmen Prep Flight Under Full Moon

U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Russ Scalf

Beneath the light of a full moon, Airmen from the 19th Airlift Wing prepare a C-130J Hercules for a flight March 27, 2013, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. The 19th Wing's responsibilities range from supplying humanitarian airlift relief to victims of disasters, to airdropping supplies and troops into the heart of contingency operations in hostile areas.

Operation Spartan Shield on Foot

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder/Released

Airman 1st Class Matthew Perry, right, and Army Sgt. 1st Class Darryl Honick, left, walk back to the Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected, All-Terrain Vehicle after supporting Operation Spartan Shield on Sept. 11, 2012, in Southwest Asia. Perry is a radio operator maintainer and driver with the 82nd Expeditionary Air Support Operations Squadron, and Honick is a joint fire observer, 3rd Battalion, 159th Attack Reconnaissance Battalion.

Meteorological Mission

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder

Tech. Sgt. Omar Nurse uses a kestrel meter to check if current weather conditions match the main weather sensor data at Forward Operating Base Shank, Afghanistan, Oct. 7, 2012. The 19th Expeditionary Weather Squadron provides Army ground commanders with accurate and real-time weather conditions and offers alternative options to help commanders make informed decisions on combat operations. Nurse is a battlefield weather forecaster with the 19th EWS. A kestrel is a hand held wind and weather meter capable of monitoring and reporting an exhaustive list of environmental parameters.

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