Defense

June 8, 2016
 

US military showcases aircraft at Berlin air show

SSgt. Emerson Nuñez
Berlin, Germany

A C-17 Globemaster III, dubbed “The Spirit of Berlin,” assigned to the 315th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Charleston, S.C., is parked as a static display at the Berlin air and trade show in Germany on June 3, 2016. The Spirit of Berlin was dedicated by former U.S. President Bill Clinton in 1998 on the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift.

U.S. military aircraft based in America and Europe were on display during this year’s Berlin air and trade show from June 1-4.

The International Aerospace Exhibition (ILA) is one of the oldest air shows around dating back more than 100 years.

ILA hosts a trade exhibition for aviation and military organizations, as well as an air show for the general public where 200 aircraft from 37 countries on the ground and air were exhibited this year.

The Berlin air show presented an opportunity for U.S. and other military allies to showcase their leadership in aerospace technologies and to build partnerships. The first two days of the event were designated for trade visitors, while the final two days were open to the public.

“It’s important to be here to demonstrate solidarity with our partner nations, show how we can work together and what we can develop together for future operations,” said Lt. Col. Steacy Housholder, the Air Force Global Strike Command bomber training standardization and evaluations chief from Barksdale Air Force Base, La.

Participation in the event allowed U.S. aircrews to speak with other aircrews and increase their understanding of each other’s proficiencies.

An Army CH-47 Chinook, based in Ansbach, Germany, is parked as a static display at the Berlin air and trade show in Germany on June 3, 2016. The Defense Department participates in air and trade exhibitions to provide honest, objective and candid portraits of the capabilities of U.S. aircraft, which improves international understanding between aircrews.

“We have people here from different countries and it’s neat to see different aircraft and what their capabilities are as well,” said Capt. Chelsea Lesniewski, a C-17 Globemaster III pilot assigned to the 315th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina. “We enjoy seeing the different airframes and learning from meeting and talking to their aircrews.”

Building familiarity and partnerships with NATO allies was also a goal shared by the German host.

“A coalition can only work if friends and partners work and understand each other,” said German Lt. Col. Thomas Schneider, the operations crew tactical air wing service commander and ground display manager. “If you can exchange and share experiences and information between different militaries, the whole coalition can benefit from that.”

U.S. military aircraft on display during the show included the C-17, dubbed “The Spirit of Berlin;” a B-1B Lancer; C-130J Super Hercules; and an Army CH-47 Chinook. A B-52 Stratofortress performed a flyover on June 4.

“We are delighted to have these U.S. aircraft from Europe and overseas and working together is always a pleasure,” Schneider said. “We are really happy to have you here in Germany.”




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