Photo Finish – Military Aviation

Today’s Photo Finish is a look at ten of my favorite captures of military aviation that I shot during my Navy career. My first five years in the Navy were spent directly in naval aviation as part of two squadrons. Later changes to various career paths took me off the flight deck, but I still jumped at every chance to photograph aircraft and flight operations.

Aviation Structural Mechanic 3rd Class Mike Mobley launches Ranger 23, an EP-3E ARIES II from Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron Two (VQ-2). Naval Station Rota, Spain. (U.S. Navy photo by YN3 Nathanael Miller, 7 January 2000)
I was a reconnaissance camera maintenance specialist with the Black Lions of Fighter Squadron 213 (VF-213), and we deployed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) in 2001. When we were in the Arabian Sea, I went aloft in a cargo plane to help get aerial photos of the air wing, and this is my favorite shot of our F-14s in the air. In an irony, I flew this photo mission the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. We were several hours ahead of New York City. The 9/11 attacks happened while I was in the air shooting these images. (U.S. Navy photo by PH2 Nathanael ‘Sparky’ Miller, 11 September 2001)
An EA-6B Prowler of VAQ-135 launches from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) during the late afternoon. (U.S. Navy photo by PH2 Class Nathanael ‘Sparky’ Miller, 13 October 2001)

Evening preflight. This is my all-time favorite image I ever shot of our F-14s when I was with Fighter Squadron 213 (VF-213). VF-213 was deployed aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). (U.S. Navy photo by PH2 Nathanael Miller, November 2001)
An F-14 Tomcat from Fighter Squadron 213 (VF-213) launches from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). (U.S. Navy photo by PH2 Nathanael Miller, 18 December 2001).
An MH-60S “Knight Hawk” helicopter belonging to the Sea Knights of Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 (HSC-25) maneuvers over the taxiway of Andersen Air Force Base on the U.S. territory of Guam. Behind the “Knight Hawk” is a B-1B “Lancer” bomber belonging to the Air Force’s 34th Bomb Squadron, which is deployed to Andersen from its home base of Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. (U.S. Navy photo by PH2 Nathanael Miller, 16 November 2005)
111201-N-YX169-174 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Dec. 1, 2011) – Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) 2nd Class Robert De Soto, left, watches as Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handler) Airman Michael Babers directs a CH-53E Super Stallion from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 (HMH 461) as it takes off from the flight deck of the amphibious transport dock USS Ponce (LPD 15) during an evening of training flights. (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Nathanael Miller, 1 December 2011)
An F/A-18F Hornet of the Jolly Rogers of Strike Fighter Squadron 103 (VFA 103) lands aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Nathanael Miller, 14 May 2012)
Airman Jay Abraham, assigned to the Patriots of Electronic Attack Squadron 140 (VAQ 140), cleans the canopy of an EA-6B Prowler aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Nathanael Miller, 25 November 2012)

An Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) directs an E-2C Hawkeye from the Bluetails of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 121 (VAW 121) to the catapults aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). (U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Nathanael Miller, 5 December 2012)

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