jueves, 30 de mayo de 2013


2D MAW ~ Second To None

2nd Marine Aircraft Wing


Believe it or not: Superman thanks service members for their hard work
By Sgt. Juan Vara | | May 13, 2005
KALSU, Iraq -- The Marines and soldiers here never forget where they are. Every waking moment they are reminded that a serious threat to life exists in their small piece of Iraqi desert. In this remote outpost of Iraq, a small group of camouflage clad service members got a rare glimpse of some familiar faces. Two Hollywood personalities were here May 13 to show the Marines and soldiers their appreciation for their hard work in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Dean Cain, famous for his role as Clark Kent/Superman in the television series “Lois and Clark: The Adventures of Superman” and the host and producer of the series “Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” was here accompanied by Amanda Swisten, a model and actress best known for her role in the 2003 movie “American Wedding,” where she starred as the French maid in the bachelor party scene. Dozens of war fighters braved the heat and waited outside Kalsu’s Morale, Welfare and Recreation tent as other Marines and soldiers waited inside the jam-packed tent for a chance to meet Cain and Swisten. The celebrities chatted briefly with the warfighters, posed for pictures and signed autographs. “Occasions like this definitely benefit morale here,” said Lance Cpl. Russ Bonham, an air traffic controller assigned to Marine Air Control Squadron 2 and Statesboro, Ga., native. “Amanda Swisten is a sexy girl and after seeing her here I’m forced to go watch ‘American Wedding’ again.” Renee Favors, MWR representative for Multi-National Force-Iraq, said the “Ambassadors of Hollywood” trip was made possible through coordination with the Department of the Army and Pro Sports MVP, a marketing firm that works with the military to take sports and entertainment celebrities to bases around the world. Favors, originally from Montgomery, Ala., said the celebrities are touring Iraq for two weeks, visiting mostly forward operating bases where there’s usually no entertainment for the service members. “Bases like this is where they really need it,” said Favors. “Some of the small bases are out of the way, but we don’t want any of the troops to think they’re forgotten. They can’t come out here and be on a mission all the time; they need to have a touch of home somewhere.” According to Cain, who said service members are the toughest people he’s ever met, the response from those in Iraq has been impressive. “Everybody’s been so appreciative but we’re here to say ‘We appreciate you,’” said Cain. “We’re thinking about the people in the military every single day.” Swisten said the trip to Iraq gives her an opportunity to show her patriotism and her support to the military. “I want to thank everyone for being in this horrible heat and wearing all this heavy equipment,” she said, talking about the outer tactical vests and the small arms protective inserts plates everyone wears here. “These guys are all my heroes and I want to let them know they are not forgotten.” The visit, according to Favors, gave the celebrities a better sense of appreciation for what the U.S. military is doing in support of Operation Iraq Freedom. “Acting is a whole lot easier than being in the military,” said Cain. Celebrity visits, music stars, and other morale boosting events are sometimes a rarity in a combat zone. These tours do not serve as a distraction from the fighting, but provide an opportunity for some of the warfighters to take a break and receive the appreciation they deserve.- For more information about the event reported on in this story, please contact Sgt. Juan Vara by e-mail at varaj@acemnf-wiraq.usmc.mil -
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This photograph is considered public domain and has been cleared for release. If you would like to republish please give the photographer appropriate credit. http://www.2ndmaw.marines.mil/News/ArticleView/tabid/357/Article/32208/believe-it-or-not-superman-thanks-service-members-for-their-hard-work.aspx

lunes, 27 de mayo de 2013


Team Edwards supports Warner Brothers' 'Man of Steel'

by Laura Mowry

Staff Writer

2/7/2012 - EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Through 11 days of filming, Team Edwards played a supporting role in the upcoming Warner Brothers production, "Man of Steel," with location, facilities, logistical support and numerous Airmen cast as extras.

The men and women of the Air Force Flight Test Center joined forces with fellow servicemembers from the Army, National Guard, and Marines to lend an authentic military presence to the film, which wrapped up shooting at Edwards Feb. 2.

"We needed a place where we could have aviation, the look of the Air Force, and also accommodate our unique logistical demands," said the supervising location manager, Bill Doyle. "When you factor in the close proximity to Los Angeles and the other nearby military instillations, Edwards just made sense."

Edwards, in close proximity to Hollywood and neighboring military instillations, has vast open space with unique landscapes and variety of aircraft making it an ideal location for the production. 

In addition to providing logistical support for the film, approximately 200 servicemembers were cast as extras. Although a majority came from Edwards, other branches of service contributed, bringing an impressive display of skills to the film.

"Choosing to cast the servicemembers as extras was an easy decision. Not only did it make sense from a logistical standpoint with the incredible tactical skills that they bring to the table, but they really fill the uniform. It's a natural role for them and it works great," said Doyle. "Everyone in uniform has been hugely supportive. It has been an absolute pleasure working with them each and every day."

The decision to film at Edwards was made by the film's director, Zack Snyder.

"It was a great choice," said Mark Scoon, the Executive Vice President of Physical Production for Warner Brothers Pictures. "Our experience at Edwards has been beyond phenomenal, no matter how you look at it -- from the bottom up, or top down. There has been an extraordinary [amount of] cooperation across the board."

For Scoon, Edwards and its immense size played a critical role in allowing the film crew to accomplish its goals.

"The sheer size and scope of Edwards is incredible. It's truly remarkable that you can have all this filming going on and yet continue to accomplish the mission," Scoon said.

The varying landscapes and facilities unique to Edwards provided ideal surroundings for incorporating the military into the movie; easily accommodating Army, Air Force, and National Guard assets. The collaborative efforts not only met the production needs, but allowed Team Edwards to continue carrying out the day-to-day mission of flight test with no negative impacts.

"It's wonderful to welcome the film industry back to Edwards," said Col. Gregory E. Schwab, 95th Air Base Wing commander. "Because we are so close to Hollywood and we have this great 308,000 acres, not to mention the amazing mission of the 412th Test Wing; it provides a unique cross-section that you can't find anywhere else."

The Edwards community is no stranger to Hollywood productions, with the "Man of Steel" production serving as the latest example.

"Since the 1950's there has been a string of movies filmed here at Edwards. We're absolutely thrilled to have such a good rapport and working relationship with their community," said Schwab. "It's a tradition that makes Edwards, the Air Force, and the Department of Defense look good and we're proud that movies continue to be filmed here." 

Although the Edwards landscape was impressive to film producer, Deborah Snyder, the Edwards community and the commitment of every man and woman in uniform to serve their country is what impressed her the most.

"It's just amazing to see all these people and their roles of protecting our country," she said. "These real Airmen and Soldiers give the movie such an incredible, authenticity. It has been so wonderful being able to work and talk with them."

Her first time at Edwards, Deborah was in awe of the array of aircraft and became fascinated with the size and capabilities of the C-17.

"I have never seen something so massive, what an incredible aircraft. The variety of aircraft and technology at Edwards are just unbelievable," Snyder said.

The C-17 was just one of the many aircraft the Warner Brothers crew had the chance to get up close to during their time at Edwards, thanks to the cooperative efforts put forth from the 412th Test Wing.

Lt. Col. Robert J. Poremski, 412th Operations Group standardization and evaluation deputy chief, held the responsibility for overseeing the assets of the 412th Test Wing and ensured that they were properly taken care of and used as agreed upon between the U.S. Air Force and Warner Brothers.

During his time working with the film crew, Poremski bridged the gap between military protocol and Hollywood.

"Work at Edwards is highly technical and structured and the entertainment industry is far more fluid and spontaneous in their day-to-day operations. Balancing the creative nature of the movie crew with the rigorous, disciplined approach at Edwards has been challenging, but very fulfilling," said Poremski.

Pleased with the way Team Edwards stepped up to accommodate production needs; Poremski looks forward to seeing the end result.

"It provides us with an opportunity to showcase the highly trained and professional servicemembers, facilities and aircraft. Ultimately, I hope everyone enjoys the movie. The whole experience has been positive, and I hope I have the opportunity to work with the film industry again," said Poremski.

Brig. Gen. Robert C. Nolan II, commander, Air Force Flight Test Center, was highly impressed by the efforts put forth by Team Edwards to make filming a complete and total success. However, what amazed him most was successful execution of the day-to-day mission.

"I was really impressed with all the hard work that the men and women of the Air Force put into making this project a success," said Nolan. "But what impresses me the most, is the effort put forth each and every day by those same men and women who deliver capability to the Air Force. From my perspective, they are the real super-heroes." 

Man of Steel, Henry Cavil, film production
"Man of Steel" star, Henry Cavill took a break from his rigorous schedule to meet with Edwards servicemembers during an autograph session at the Joshua Tree Dining Facility on Jan. 31. Film production at Edwards lasted 11 days and included impressive logistical support, extensive use of facilities, and also included approximately 200 servicemembers who were cast as extras in the film. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Laura Mowry) 


miércoles, 22 de mayo de 2013


The Ridiculous New Ad That Makes Superman Look Psychotic


Summer blockbuster season has begun, and so has the flood of ham-fisted movie tie-in advertising. We have Star Trek into Darkness implying that we'll all be using Acer laptops in the far-flung future and Tony Stark test-driving Audis instead of drunkenly steering them off the side of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier.

But every now and then, a commercial you can actually respect comes along -- in this case, it's the National Guard's Man of Steel ad, which was directed by Zack Snyder and wins points in our book for depicting Superman as one big crazy jackass.

This minute-long spot begins with soldiers out of uniform, going about their mild-mannered lives. But just like Clark Kent, they ditch their civilian duds when it's time for action.

"It'd be nice if we didn't have to wear fake glasses whenever we aren't on duty."
But wait! Why exactly do they need their uniforms? The ad goes on to tell us just that.
Voila, Superman! And it looks like the friendly alien is walking out of a bit of rubble. No biggie -- he's always strutting out of an OSHA violation after a big rumble. So what did he smash?

"Child-Man, my old nemesis."
Oh! It's -- it's a child? At least that's what the ad cuts to in the very next scene, as the National Guard saves the young kid from an early, concrete-induced demise ...
Wait a minute -- is this not the same rubble Superman just waltzed out of? It sure looks like the same rubble from moments before, because they fucking cut from that rubble to this rubble, and your average commercial isn't long or complex enough to support a narrative with multiple piles of rubble. So did Superman just, like, smash a building and bounce? Where did he even go?

"Soldiers can handle the trapped children, I'm getting superlaid!"
Oh! OK, Superman was just saving Lois Lane! (The only reason we know this is because we paused the commercial, as it's some blurry camerawork.) Let's continue on to the next scene.

A disaster Aquaman would actually be good for, and the goldbricking National Guard snipes his save.
All right, the very next shot sees the National Guard rescuing a little girl. This confusing scene is supposed to reinforce the heroic parallels between Superman and the National Guard, but, courtesy of some incredibly dubious editing with the prior Lois Lane sequence, it looks like Supes dumped the poor kid on the roof in the middle of a flood and fucked off to the troposphere to do some sky yoga.
See? Sky yoga. Either that or he's mere moments away from turning his body into a human shadow puppet of a cock and balls to project onto the side of the United Nations or Lex Luthor's patio or something. In any case, let's analyze the next scene, which lends further credence to our theory that the National Guard's primary duty is to clean up Superman's manifold messes.

He can fill tall buildings with corpses in a single drunken mistake.
Behold, it's Superman, demonstrating to audiences that he is in fact faster than a speeding bullet. He's tearing across the Earth's surface, grimacing for reasons that are unexplained. Perhaps the G-forces loosen his bowels; perhaps they massage his Kryptonian physiology in ways that are inappropriate to discuss on a family website such as this. What is clear is that a caravan of National Guardsmen is following in Superman's wake.
Again, the commercial aims to imply that -- just like Superman -- the National Guard rushes toward disasters with heroic abandon. Instead, it looks like the National Guard is chasing the superhero down for shattering every window in the tri-state area.
And what's that fire in the distance? Did Superman smoke an entire tobacco field in a futile attempt to edgy up his character? Did he get drunk and have to fight his subconscious in a junkyard again? What wacky japes did the last son of Krypton get into now? One thing's for certain -- if the National Guard rebranded itself as "The Superman Revenge Squad," it'd see a huge uptick in applicants.

"Dear Mom: Today my drill sergeant told me that Superman is a fictional character. Thinking of suing the government."


domingo, 19 de mayo de 2013



May 16, 2013

Soldier of Steel: Superman and the National Guard

Filed under: General Homeland Security — by Arnold Bogis on May 16, 2013
In the tradition of Navy recruitment at theaters showing “Top Gun,” and what I hoped would be a similar boost for public health from “Contagion,” the National Guard has hitched itself to the new Superman movie that will hit theaters on June 14.
I saw this video during the previews before a showing of “Iron Man 3″ (which itself is absolutely worth going to see…).

First off, just to be clear, I have nothing but respect and admiration for the men and women who serve in the National Guard.  And I think this recruitment video is well done, and the rest of their campaign found on http://www.soldierofsteel.com/ is innovative…for a government program anyway (play a game or watch some workout videos!).
What struck me in the theater is the juxtaposition of the scenes, all obviously showing the homeland rather than national security missions of the National Guard, with the title “citizen soldier.”  Everyday men and women (who looked incredibly fit and reminded me that I need to get back to the gym) morph into these citizen soldiers who arrive at the scene of disasters to rescue you or your neighbors.
That happens.  If you are reading this blog you are undoubtedly aware of the vital role National Guard units play in response to natural disasters or terrorist attacks while under the control of their respective governors.
However, as “citizen soldier” suggests, the National Guard is not strictly a homeland response force but also plays an enormously important role in national security planning. To be blunt, when push comes to shove, the Pentagon expects these forces to be deployed and aid in the projection of American power overseas.  In simpler terms, they are soldiers expected to perform military duties — such as killing our enemies — whether or not it’s hurricane season in their home states.
I am not arguing against this role.  In fact, along with the Reserves, the Guard plays an absolutely vital role in the defense of our nation.  With the withdrawal from Iraq and the slow extrication from Afghanistan, in the immediate future it is much less likely that National Guard units will be deployed in warzones (hoping that we don’t get drawn into foolish adventures in Syria or Iran…or forced to respond to North Korean or other provocations).
Yet I can’t help but be a little…something, since disturbed is too strong and piqued too weak…by this particular representation of the Guard’s duties.  Yes, it presents the opportunity to help your neighbors following disaster.  Yes, you put on the uniform and will be called upon to perform heroic duties.  But remember that you may not only end up digging children out of rubble but quite possible be responsible for inadvertently putting them, or at least foreign children, under it.
That is not an anti-war or anti-Guard or anti-military statement.  Just one that aims to point out that war is by necessity messy with boundaries often hard to define.  As the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan showed far too many times, there are few defined “front lines” and innocent civilians are too easily thrust into the line of fire.
Joining the Nation Guard is to join a honored profession and to serve our country.  It is not, however, a job in a solely homeland security/disaster response force. And I wish that this recruitment campaign could make that point just a little more clear.
From a recent Baltimore Sun article on the last deployment of the Maryland National Guard to Afghanistan:
More than a decade of deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq and other battlegrounds since Sept. 11, 2001, has produced a highly skilled and deeply experienced generation of warriors. But with the United States out of Iraq and planning to leave Afghanistan, Maj. Gen. James Adkins sees a new challenge.
“Many of the soldiers that are serving now have known only war,” he said Thursday from Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia, where members of the 244th Engineer Co. are training for a deployment starting later this year.

Since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Maryland National Guard has deployed nearly 4,000 soldiers and airmen to Afghanistan. Members have had a broad range of duties such as mentoring the Afghan Army and police, serving as infantry, evacuating wounded soldiers and flying drones.
Twelve Maryland guard members have been killed in action.

Since arriving at Fort A.P. Hill, an Army base north of Richmond, members have trained on weapons and tactics. On Thursday, they used a new GPS system to find their way through a wooded area.
“Warrior-type tasks,” Pennington said. “Your basic battle skills.”

jueves, 16 de mayo de 2013




American Forces Press ServiceBookmark and Share


Superman Pays Visit to Task Force Baghdad Soldiers

By Spc. Erin Robicheaux, USA
Special to American Forces Press Service
BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 25, 2005 – He may not have leapt over tall buildings in a single bound or dodged any speeding bullets to get here, but Dean Cain, the former star of ABC's "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," and current host of TBS's "Ripley's Believe It, or Not," did fly by plane to Iraq with his new sidekick, actress and model Amanda Swisten.
Click photo for screen-resolution image
Hollywood actors Dean Cain and Amanda Swisten express their thanks to Task Force Baghdad soldiers during "Taji Fight Night" at Camp Taji, Iraq, May 22. Cain and Swisten visited soldiers in Iraq as part of a two-week "Ambassadors of Hollywood" tour. Photo by Spc. Derek Del Rosario, USA

(Click photo for screen-resolution image)
They visited Camp Liberty May 22, signing autographs and posing for pictures with Task Force Baghdad soldiers.
The pair is on a two-week mission to meet with U.S. soldiers and to see firsthand how troops are faring.
What seemed to surprise the stars most was how much is actually happening, in relation to the portrayal by the media. "I didn't see all of the negative stuff that the mainstream media reports," Cain said. "This is war and sometimes bad things happen, but those are isolated incidents. I've seen with my own eyes that this is not the whole story."
Swisten, who has appeared in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, and movies such as "American Wedding" and "The Girl Next Door," echoed Cain's sentiments of the real stories from troops in Iraq.
"The media blows a lot of it out of proportion. The small incidents are made to seem much larger. All we hear about are the scandals, like in the (Abu Ghraib) prison. What about the other stories?" she said.
The two were well aware of the dangers of combat missions, thanks to accounts from soldiers. They visited hospitals and spoke with wounded troops, and witnessed the lengths that military medical teams take to save a human life - even if it is the life of an enemy.
"We met a soldier who was shot, ... and the assassin was shot in the head," recalls Cain. "He shot one of our soldiers and then received excellent medical care from our people."
The stars also paid a visit to Camp Taji, where they dined with soldiers and later got a front-row seat at "Taji Fight Night," the camp's weekly boxing event. The celebrities were welcomed as special guests and given a chance to share their appreciation for the troops.
"This (the tour) has given us a great opportunity to show our support for the troops," Swisten said to hundreds of Fight Night spectators. "We are going to go back to the states and tell everyone what a great job you are doing."
Swisten and Cain decided to get involved when a representative from Pro Sports Marketing Ventures and Promotions asked Hollywood celebrities to show their support for the troops fighting the war on terror. Swisten said that it was far from a difficult decision.
"I lost a lot of friends on Sept. 11, and I'm a patriot at heart. I'm an American, and this is the smallest thing that I can do to give back, to go by and say 'hi' and take some pictures with people who know me from a movie or a magazine," she said.
Swisten also said she admires the bravery of the soldiers she met during her visit. "They have more courage than anybody I know back home," she said.
Cain said the scene was different from what he initially expected. "It's not what you see in the news every day. It's a bunch of really strong, hard-working Americans who are protecting the liberties and freedoms that we enjoy at home every day, and we should all be a whole lot more appreciative of them than we are," he said.
Both entertainers said they will walk away from this experience more enlightened and feeling like they know what's really going on. "This has been really grounding to see it for myself, that everybody here is out to do good work and serve their country, even though at the end of the day, they'd love to go home," Swisten said.
Cain agreed. "Being here and living with (soldiers) is a whole different world, and you can see how tough they really are," he said. "If people were to come over here and spend the two weeks that we've spent, their entire worlds would be changed completely around."
(Army Spc. Erin Robicheaux is assigned to the 256th Brigade Combat Team. Army Spc. Derek Del Rosario, of the 3rd Aviation Brigade, also contributed to this article.)

Click photo for screen-resolution imageActress and model Amanda Swisten and Dean Cain, host of "Ripley's Believe it, or Not," smile for the cameras with Army Lt. Col. Michael Pryor, plans officer for the 256th Brigade Combat Team. Swisten and Cain spent two weeks visiting troops serving in Iraq. Photo by Spc. Erin Robicheaux, USA  
Download screen-resolution   


lunes, 13 de mayo de 2013



10 May 2013

Man of Propaganda

By Robbie Graham Silver Screen Saucers

'Man of Steel' teams up with US National Guard


When the government and the entertainment industry maintain an intimate working relationship and co-produce media products specifically tailored to promote the tools of war and boost military recruitment, we call it what it is: propaganda. At least, that's what we call it when practised by countries such as North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, etc.

In America, 'propaganda' is something practised by other countries. In America, the symbiotic relationship between the entertainment industry and every branch of the military is just 'good business'. And besides, it can't be propaganda if they're advertising their own relationship, right?

Of course, it's not just the National Guard who are trying to recruit Superman fans -- the US Air Force also 'wants you!'. In exchange for the Pentagon’s right to edit the movie’s script and monitor its production, the superhero movie has been granted access to USAF facilities and hardware in order to cut its production costs. Most notably, Man of Steel will showcase the USAF's $400 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter which is currently grounded due to flight difficulties. Reuters reported last year that the final cost of the F-35 program might be as much as $1.5 trillion dollars(!).

According to Wired, the Pentagon’s Hollywood Liaison, Phil Strub is remaining tight lipped as to whether or not the F-35 actually interacts with Superman in the new movie, but, notesWired, “it gets the troubled aircraft program in the same sentence as the four-color symbol of truth, justice and the American way.”

Here are just some of the movies which have been produced in collaboration with the US Department of Defense in the last decade...

2013 Man of Steel
2012 Battleship
2012 Act of Valor 
2011 Transformers: Dark of the Moon
2011 Battle Los Angeles
2010 Iron Man 2
2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
2008 The Day the Earth Stood Still
2008 Eagle Eye
2008 Iron Man
2007 I Am Legend
2007 Transformers
2006 Flags of Our Fathers
2006 United 93
2005 The Great Raid
2005 Stealth
2005 War of the Worlds
2003 American Valor
2003 Rain
2003 The Core