Throughout most of the year, we tried to bring to light the most spectacular images released by the American Air Force, in a bid to give you a glimpse of how life in the USAF is, surrounded by all the high-tech machines the military branch is fielding. We have to admit, during all this time, we’ve focused more on the machines, because that’s how we roll here on autoevolution, but from time to time, we did get to talk about the men and women of the Air Force, most of the times thanks to some stunning images showing them inside or outside airplanes, on the runways, or even dangling from helicopters. It is with one such image that we’d like to end this year’s coverage of military bits and pieces. One that somehow also seems like a fitting goodbye to a year that has been, just like all other years before it and all other years to come, amazing for some and dreadful for others. It is an image that shows two loadmasters, deployed with the 1st Special Operations Squadron out of the Kadena Air Base in Japan, their backs to the Nikon camera used to snap the pic. Strapped to the floor of the plane, both are looking out the opened cargo bay door of an MC-130J Commando II. The photo was taken at the beginning of December, and the personnel featured in it were not out for a sightseeing trip, but for a very serious airdrop support mission for the Resolute Dragon exercise that took place back then. It’s a pretty impressive vista though, as beyond the opened door of the cargo plane, now free of its pallets, the blurred lights of the city seem pale in the shadow of legendary Mount Fuji, Japan’s highest mountain and a place the symbolizes so many things to the Japanese people.