When you’re aboard a military-grade fixed or rotary-winged aircraft, you’re most likely out on a mission and won’t always have time or the inclination to take in some of the scenic views.
Whether they’re giving medical aid during a “dustoff,” or providing suppressing fire from a gunship, crewmembers from a variety of aircraft can have one of the most hazardous jobs in the military — which is why some of the following scenes can only be experienced from this exclusive group.
We’ve compiled 19 photos of just a glimpse of the conditions that some of these crewmembers operate in.
An earlier version of this article was written by David Choi.
A US Marine Corps crew chief scans for insurgent activity during a general support flight over Helmand province, Afghanistan.
The reflection of the Black Forest fire can be seen from a Colorado National Guard crew chief's helmet in a US Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter near Colorado Springs, Colorado.
A 'Bambi Bucket' attached to a Texas National Guard CH-47 dumps water on a blaze nearing a structure at Bastrop, Texas.
Soldiers assigned to the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) conduct a jump demonstration from a C-130 Hercules during the Japanese-American Friendship Festival at Yokota Air Base, Japan.
A soldier from the US Army's 1st Cavalry Division hovers 75 feet above the ground from a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a medevac exercise.
A crew chief from the US Marine Corps prepares to engage targets from a UH-1Y Venom above San Clemente Island, California.
A US Army soldier provides aerial security from the rear door of a CH-47 Chinook over the Khost province, eastern Afghanistan.
A US Marine Corps crewmaster observes a F/A-18C Hornet approaching a refuelling hose near Royal Australian Air Force Base Tindal, Australia.
A US Marine Corps crew chief aboard a UH-1Y Venom approaches a landing zone during a training exercise near Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
US Marines assigned to Force Reconnaissance Platoon, Maritime Raid Force, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), conduct a high altitude low opening (HALO) jump during training in Louisburg, North Carolina.
Soldiers and airmen from five NATO nations parachute from a C-130J Hercules over the Alzey drop zone in southwestern Germany during International Jump Week.
A US Marine Corps UH-1Y Venom helicopter flies over the desert dunes en route to the Chocolate Mountain Aerial Gunnery Range.
The rear-gunner in a Sikorsky UH-53 observes a Afghanistan-Uzbekistan railroad stretch into the distance.
US Marines and sailors in the Basic Reconnaissance Course practice helocasting at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado in San Diego, California.
A US Army National Guard rear door gunner on a CH-47 keeps watch over the mountains in Uruzgan province, Afghanistan.
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