Angel up above A C-130J Hercules from the 146th Airlift Wing, California Air National Guard, conducts flare training off the Ventura County coast Jan. 10, 2012. The flares are used as tactical infrared countermeasures to confuse and redirect heat-seeking missiles. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Dave Buttner)
This is a US Marine Corps KC-130 Hercules deploying the Angel flare decoy system, designed to draw heat-seeking missles off target. It draws the name "Angel" from the distinctive smoke pattern it leaves in the sky.