U.S. Air Force Releases Bizarre Promotional Video In Which $85m Jet Fighter Explodes
PICTURE SHOWS: The pilot walks away as a ground crew member tries to extinguish flames on the wheel of the smoking $85m F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter
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The U.S. Air Force has released a bizarre promotional video in which a $85 million fighter jet explodes on a runway and a baby is saved from a burning office cubicle.
The two minute film, entitled The Big Picture, was made by the 2nd Audiovisual Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, "in order to break the stigma that is often the barrier to asking for assistance."
The U.S.A.F. released a report on Friday (3 May) about the clip's April premiere, where it was shown to base personnel and their families at the Hill facility.
However, military aviation website theaviationist.com commented: "Because the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program has been a lightning rod for often uninformed public criticism, the exploding F-35A visuals featured in the opening seconds of the new Hill AFB programming could be taken out of context and seem poorly calibrated."
The film starts with a pilot walking away from a smoking F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter with a member of ground crew attempting to extinguish a flaming landing wheel.
As the aircraft goes out of shot there is a huge explosion and another member of ground crew is seen running across the tarmac to assist. The fate of the crewmember who would have been standing next to the explosion is not revealed.
The chiselled pilot is then seen walking through office cubicles. Upon noticing one is on fire, he ducks into the flame and plucks a baby to safety.
The pilot then, also bizarrely, erects a temporary rail track as a train speeds through the office. The video ends with air force personnel posing for camera - although one appears to be on their knees as if under arrest.
The USAF said in a statement:
A team at Hill Air Force Base has set out to encourage Airmen to seek help when they need it.
In order to break the stigma that is often the barrier to asking for assistance, a series of six public service announcements are being created at Hill for service-wide distribution.
The base premiered the first ad last month, urging Airmen to reach out to resources such as mental health, alcohol and drug abuse treatment, sexual assault response, family advocacy, and employee assistance when it’s needed.
The clip titled The Big Picture features actor Jonathan Camp, recognised for his appearances on StartUp, Six, and American Fright Fest, and television personality Diesel Dave Kiley of the Discovery Channel’s Diesel Brothers.
The video uses humor to illustrates how Airmen play a critical role defending the nation, but that the Air Force also recognizes no one can perform at maximum capacity at all times. At some point or another, Airmen will need resources.
The remaining ads are currently in different stages of production.
The 2d Audiovisual Squadron at Hill AFB is producing the ads. Capt. Madeleine Jensen, base deputy sexual assault response coordinator, wrote the scripts for the productions in coordination with organizations across the service.