011031-N-3405L-014.In the skies over Afghanistan (Oct. 31, 2001) -- An F/A-18 Hornet from the "Mighty Shrikes" of Strike Fighter Squadron Nine Four (VFA-94) fires flares during a training mission. Flares are part of the aircraft's defense against surface-to-air and air-to-air infra-red (IR) heat-seeking missile attacks. IR missiles follow a heat source. The heat created by the flare will hopefully burn hotter than the aircraft engine and attract the incoming missile away from the aircraft. VFA-94 is assigned to Carrier Airwing Eleven (CVW 11) aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and conducting missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Steve Lightstone. (RELEASED).