My Favorite Photo Ever: A Military Dog Jumping Out of a Helicopter

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Thank you, Rebecca Frankel of Foreign Policy, for creating a wonderful gallery about the dogs of war, pegged to the fact that a dog was among the contingent of commandos sent to kill Osama Bin Laden. The two lead photographs show dogs jumping out of aircraft, which I find totally mindblowing. Here's Frankel's excellent explanation:

The question of how the dog got into bin Laden's compound is no puzzle -- the same way the special ops team did, by being lowered from an MH-60s helicopter. In fact, U.S. Air Force dogs have been airborne for decades, though the earliest flying dogs accompanied Soviet forces in the 1930s.

Dogs usually jump in tandem with their trainers, but when properly outfitted with flotation vests they can make short jumps into water on their own. A U.S. Navy SEAL, Mike Forsythe, and his dog, Cara -- pictured [below] -- recently broke the world record for "highest man/dog parachute deployment" by jumping from 30,100 feet.

Forget capitalist running dogs. I prefer communist flying dogs!

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Images: 1. Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez, U.S. Air Force/ DoD; 2. U.S. Navy.

Via my colleague, Garance Franke-Ruta.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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