Fire from the clouds: US military close air support

See the United States military's close air support arsenal

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An AC-130U gunship from the 4th Special Operations Squadron, jettisons flares over an area near Hurlburt Field, Fla., Aug. 20, 2008. The flares are a countermeasure for heat-seeking missiles that may be launched at the aircraft during real world missions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Julianne Showalter)

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