News>Chinese military delegation tour U.S. C-17 during Aero India 2013
Members of the Chinese delegation to the Aero India 2013 air show tour the cockpit of a Pacific Air Forces C-17 Globemaster III demonstration aircraft at Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bangalore, India, Feb. 6. The air show allowed the crew of the C-17 to interact with numerous members of international militaries and discuss the capabilities of their aircraft. The U.S. military was represented by a F-16 demonstration team and a KC-135 static display in addition to the C-17. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Ben Sakrisson)
A member of the Chinese delegation to the Aero India 2013 air show smiles after receiving a Pacific Air Forces C-17 demonstration team patch from Capt. Bill Greer, the team’s ground coordinator, at Air Force Station Yelahanka, Bangalore, India, Feb. 6. The air show allowed the crew of the C-17 to interact with numerous members of international militaries and discuss the capabilities of their aircraft. The U.S. military was represented by a F-16 demonstration team and a KC-135 static display in addition to the C-17. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Ben Sakrisson)
2/7/2013 - BANGALORE, India -- Seven members of a Chinese military delegation were given a rare opportunity to tour a U.S. C-17 Globemaster III during Aero India 2013 here Feb. 6.
The exceedingly rare tour was given as part of Aero India, Asia's premier air and trade show, where more than 675 business exhibitors from 29 countries gathered to bolster business opportunities in the international aviation sector. A number of U.S. military aircraft, including the C-17, are on static display during the air show.
"So frequently our two countries are painted as adversaries," said Col. Marc Caudill, U.S. Air Force mission commander here from Pacific Air Forces at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. "In this rare opportunity we were able to reach out in a spirit of friendship and camaraderie to our Chinese counterparts. Our hope is that this is the first of many steps to greater cooperation in the future."
The C-17 has been of particular interest to the Chinese military as of late as they work to develop their own domestic heavy cargo aircraft capability.
"I think they were a little surprised at first that we invited them on board," said Capt. Chris Ross, the 535th Combat Readiness flight commander and a member of the C-17 demo team. "They were very polite and visibly excited for the opportunity. Likewise, it was very interesting for us to be able to talk to them for a few minutes as well."
The Chinese delegation presented the USAF C-17 demo team with Chinese Air Force ball caps as a token of appreciation for the tour. U.S. Airmen presented the Chinese military delegation with their C-17 unit patches and thanked them for taking part in the tour.
The capabilities of the C-17 continued to draw interest from numerous other foreign dignitaries throughout the air show.
"This is a big part of the reason that we are here at this air show," said Caudill. "[We are here] to interact with our foreign counterparts in a face-to-face setting that may result in them returning home with a lasting positive impression of what Americans are really like and an appreciation of the capabilities that out aircraft represent.
The C-17 Globemaster III is the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force. The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. The aircraft can perform tactical airlift and airdrop missions and can transport litters and ambulatory patients during aeromedical evacuations when required. The inherent flexibility and performance of the C-17 force improves the ability of the total airlift system to fulfill the worldwide air mobility requirements of the United States.
Other U.S. military aircraft participating in Aero India 2013 include the U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon and KC-135 Statotanker.
U.S. military participation in this trade show furthers defense purchase and supply relationships with India, demonstrates U.S. commitment to India as a regional partner, and directly supports U.S. Pacific Command's goal of expanding engagements through partnership building with countries in the Asia-Pacific. The U.S. has supported this trade show since 2003.