The F/A-18 Super Hornets employed by America’s Navy as carrier based air-to-air and ground support fighters have earned their reputation among the most effective military aircraft ever to take to the skies. Over decades of service, the Hornet and Super Hornet platforms have proven invaluable to American defense strategy and force projection around the globe, but despite the plane’s popularity, taking a ride inside one is still an honor relegated to a select few.

This video, uploaded in 2014, shows Super Hornet operations on and around the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65), offering a rare glimpse of what it might be like to ride in the cockpit of these powerful aircraft as they conduct low-altitude flights, seemingly scraping the wave tops as they approach the carrier and zoom past it.

Last year, an F/A-18E Super Hornet was involved in a dogfight that ended with the downing of a Syrian Su-22, America’s first air-to-air victory since 1999, prompting a resurgence of interest in the storied air frame, but it was far from the plane’s first victory. On the very first day of the Persian Gulf War, four F/A-18Cs took off from the USS Saratoga with orders to bomb an airfield in Southwest Iraq. They were only airborne a short time before an E-2 Hawkeye airborne control aircraft notified them that two Iraqi Mig-21s were headed their way.

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The Super Hornets adjusted course, and forty seconds after they received notification from the E-2, both Migs had already been turned into smoking rubble on the desert earth below.