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Speaking of self-loading cargo...

...as we did, tangentially, in the comments of the "Fixed Wing Army" post, here's a seagull's targeting view of some Jarheads getting into the back of the bus.

[This pic embiggens]
PACIFIC OCEAN (Dec. 14, 2011) Marines embark a CH-46E Sea Stallion helicopter, assigned to the Red Dragons of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron (HMM) 268 Reinforced, aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8). Makin Island is on its maiden deployment conducting operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility in support of the Navy's Maritime Strategy. Makin Island is the Navy's newest amphibious assault ship and the only U.S. Navy ship with a hybrid electric propulsion system. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Alan Gragg)

8 Comments

Is that a Batmobile at the bottom of the pic?  LOL
 
How'd they get the camera on that seagull? How will they change the batteries? Another mystery of life.  ML
 
 John, are you suggesting, “Laser Guided Dump”?  SPLAT!

Ahh, Forget it, the bird answered.
 
Why aircrew helmets for the grunts?  Kevlars always used to be good enough for the troops, leaders usually got a headsets for commo. Are these all 'Strategic Corporals'?
 
I wondered about that too, Dennis.  Dunno.
 
 Those helmets look like what my Airedale friends call "cranials." Note they aren't solid plastic, but have fabric around the earpieces which is an extention of the liner. They are more like the CVC I used to wear as a Tanker, if you have ever seen one, then you know what I mean.
 
Hey! my photo didn't embiggen ... it emsmallened. So I copied it to photoshop. I do not have the answer to why they are wearing those things ... but I suspect that they have ear protection in them. I bet they leave them in the bird when they get where they are going and put the real helmets on.

I know I haven't done that in ages .... but we had to wear ear protection (Mickey Mouse ears) , in my later years while flying on various kinds or shuttering sh*thouses. We dumped them when we got off.
 
JimB - I bet that when the pic "emsmallened" it was because your browser it set to autofit.  Do it again, and I'll warrant that when you mouse over the picture your cursor changes to a plus sign.  Click the picture and it will expand.