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27 stunning photos of the US military in action this year

27 stunning photos of the US military in action this year
  • Each of these 27 photos were taken by a talented military photographer over the course of the year, and each is a stunning image of the US military in action.
  • These photos, however, only capture a small part of what members of the US armed forces do in service of their country.
  • Here are Insider's picks for the most awesome US military photos of 2020.

This past year has been unusual to say the least. The pandemic upended people's lives around the world, and the same was true for members of the US military. Still, US troops continued to serve, doing incredible things both at home and abroad.

The following 27 photos by military photographers are awesome and offer a glimpse into some of what the military has been up to in 2020, from firing artillery to battling blazing infernos.

Jan. 14, 2020

Jan. 14, 2020
Army Staff Sgt. Daniel Pennington, a flight engineer assigned to B Co "Big Windy," 1-214th General Support Aviation Battalion, takes in his 'office' view from the ramp of his CH-47 Chinook while flying over the island of Cyprus. U.S. Army photo by Maj. Robert Fellingham
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Jan. 29, 2020

Jan. 29, 2020
A Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet soars above the clouds while conducting flight operations near Atsugi, Japan. Navy Lt. Alex Grammar
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Mar. 12, 2020

Mar. 12, 2020
A Marine fires a Mossberg 500 12-gauge shotgun during a non-lethal weapons course at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Dalton
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May 28, 2020

May 28, 2020
Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Nicholas Spartz looks out of an MV-22B Osprey during parachute operations above Marine Corps Base Hawaii. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Samantha Sanchez
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June 5, 2020

June 5, 2020
Airmen assigned to the 347th Rescue Group drop flares during a "fini flight" for Col. Bryan Creel, the group's commander, at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Air Force Senior Airman Hayden Legg
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July 15, 2020

July 15, 2020
Soldiers simulate defending against opposing forces at Kahuku Training Area, Hawaii. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jonathan McElderry
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July 27, 2020

July 27, 2020
Marine Corps Sgt. Joshua Dick conceals himself during a stalking and infiltration exercise at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Drake Nickels
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July 31, 2020

July 31, 2020
A soldier provides simulated cover fire during a live-fire exercise at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany. Army Spc. Ryan Lucas
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Aug. 11, 2020

Aug. 11, 2020
An Army M1 Abrams tank fires at a target during Defender-Europe at Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area, Poland. Army Pfc. Raekwon Jenkins
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Sept. 7, 2020

Sept. 7, 2020
A soldier deploys pyrotechnic flares to illuminate an area during an M4 night fire range event as part of the 2020 Army Reserve Best Warrior Competition at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. Army Reserve Sgt. Joseph Cathey
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Sept. 12, 2020

Sept. 12, 2020
An Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle receives fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker over Southwest Asia. Air Force Master Sgt. Larry Reid Jr.
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Sept. 18, 2020

Sept. 18, 2020
Brent Hardsaw, 22nd Civil Engineer Squadron fire inspector, and Airman 1st Class Trace James, a fire protection apprentice assigned to the squadron, extinguish flames during a night aircraft burn training exercise at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. Air Force Senior Airman Alan Ricker
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Sept. 20, 2020

Sept. 20, 2020
Marines fire an M777A2 howitzer during training at Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii. Marine Corps Sgt. Luke Kuennen
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Sept. 22, 2020

Sept. 22, 2020
A Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet receives fuel from an Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker while flying in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jason Allred
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Sept. 25, 2020

Sept. 25, 2020
USS Germantown, USNS John Ericsson, USS Antietam, USS Ronald Reagan, USS America, USS Shiloh, USS New Orleans and USS Comstock break away from formation during Exercise Valiant Shield in the Philippine Sea. Navy Seaman Apprentice Oswald Felix Jr.
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Sept. 28, 2020

Sept. 28, 2020
Air Force and civilian firefighters participate in a nighttime live-fire burn exercise at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Air Force Senior Airman Christopher Quail
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Oct. 1, 2020

Oct. 1, 2020
A Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet takes off from the flight deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Atlantic Ocean. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Cameron Pinske
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Oct. 13, 2020

Oct. 13, 2020
Army paratroopers jump from C-17 aircraft during airborne operations over the Malemute Drop Zone at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. Army Maj. Jason Welch
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Oct. 16, 2020

Oct. 16, 2020
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Austin Carroll refuels an AH-1Z Viper during training at Marine Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Zachary Zephir
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Oct. 23, 2020

Oct. 23, 2020
Marines conduct special patrol insertion/extraction and helicopter rappel training at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Japan. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Dalton Payne
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Oct. 28, 2020

Oct. 28, 2020
A Navy EA-18G Growler takes off from the flight deck of the USS Ronald Reagan in the Philippine Sea. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Gabriel A. Martinez
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Oct. 31, 2020

Oct. 31, 2020
Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Le'Aundre Johnson and Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Airman Apprentice Ronald Swinford direct an MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter assigned to the "Golden Eagles" of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 162 (Reinforced) to launch aboard the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7). U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Dominick A. Cremeans
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Nov. 4, 2020

Nov. 4, 2020
Soldiers fire an M777 howitzer at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Army Pvt. Vincent Levelev
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Nov. 11, 2020

Nov. 11, 2020
A soldier assigned to the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as "The Old Guard," walks the mat at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during a Veterans Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia. Elizabeth Fraser, Army
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Nov. 17, 2020

Nov. 17, 2020
Marines with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force - Crisis Response - Central Command, fire a 120 mm mortar round during a joint live-fire range in Kuwait. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andrew Skiver
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Dec. 1, 2020

Dec. 1, 2020
The Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee launches a Block V Tomahawk missile during an exercise in the Pacific Ocean. DoD
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Dec. 6, 2020

Dec. 6, 2020
A service member participates in the 50th Winston P. Wilson and 30th Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting Sniper Championships at Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center, Arkansas. DoD
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