The marriage between the two organizations has had some great benefits. In 2002, the movie Black Hawk Down was a painstaking reconstruction of the troubled raid on the Bakara Market in Somalia. Using real Rangers, and some of the actual aircraft that participated in the battle, the movie conveys in a very real sense the chaotic nature of modern warfare, and highlighted the heroism of the men of Task Force Ranger.
But like all things, there can be a bit of a dark side to this. The military can use popular media to gain support for overpriced and overbudget projects. Take the 2007 Transformers movie, for example, a movie made with massive support from the US Air Force. The movie starts out with two CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft flying over the desert. The Osprey is an aircraft that has been plagued with budgetary and design problems, and many critics are skeptical that the aircraft will actually perform well as a true combat aircraft (and Time Magazine, too) Many have called for the aircraft to be cancelled. Nevertheless, two of the three Ospreys in the Air Force inventory appeared in the movie. The ability for a helicopter to transform into an airplane gives that subtle hint to the audience that maybe...wait...the Osprey is a FUCKING TRANSFORMER! MAYBE FIVE OF THEM TRANSFORM TOGETHER TO MAKE DEVASTATOR!
Later in the movie, we discover that one of the leaders of the Decepticons, Starscream, is actually an F-22 Raptor, another aircraft that has run into design issues. At $140 million dollars, it is four times more expensive than the F-15, and has been in some phase of development for well over twenty to twenty-five years. It has also not logged one single flight hour over Iraq or Afghanistan, and has been criticized by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Do the military and defense community need to advertise their products? Apparently so. "Save the F-22 Raptor" ads have been popping up all over the Internet, prompting a cute little response from Chris Kelly, which, while exaggerated, covers many of the complaints many people have about this aircraft.
Focus: Are 180 F-22s enough?