News>U.S. Airmen strengthen partnerships during Asia’s premier tradeshow
Wing Commander Lall, an Indian Air Force Sukhoi Su-30 display pilot, calls out to a member of his flying squadron while sitting in the cockpit of a Pacific Air Forces F-16 demonstration aircraft with Capt. Chris Nations (right), an F-16 demonstration pilot, 7 Feb. The air show allowed members of the U.S. military to interact with numerous members of international militaries and discuss the capabilities of their aircraft. The U.S. military was represented by C-17 and F-16 demonstration teams and a KC-135 static display. (U.S. Air Force photo by Capt. Ben Sakrisson)
Lt. Gen. Stanley T. Kresge, Pacific Air Forces vice commander, greets Capt. Angela Kimler of the PACAF C-17 demonstration team at the Aero India 2013 air show 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)
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)
2/15/2013 - BANGALORE, India -- American Airmen joined aviation exhibitors from 29 Asia-Pacific countries to develop relationships and to showcase U.S. air power during Aero India 2013, Asia's premier air and trade show, held here Feb. 6-10.
Airmen provided aviation spectators a snapshot of the U.S. military's diverse inventory of aircraft and equipment through several static displays and through their participation in aerial demonstrations as part of Aero India. However, their primary reason for participating in the world-class airshow was to engage their foreign counterparts and ultimately contribute toward interoperability with other countries in the Asia-Pacific Region.
"We came to [Aero India] to demonstrate our continued support for the Indians as a partner and to build relationships with other countries in this region," said Capt. Chris Nations, F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot with Pacific Air Forces F-16 Demonstration Team, 13th Fighter Squadron, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. "While we do show the latest advances of the Block-50 Viper (and other aircraft) to industry, the confirmation of the reach and presence of American airpower is important to our partners throughout the region."
The aircraft on static display during Aero India included the U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III, F-16 Fighting Falcon and the KC-135 Stratotanker. Military members were available to explain the capabilities of these aircraft, highlight and explain the diversity of U.S. military missions, and share their varying experiences with interested foreign military personnel and visitors to the airshow.
During an exceedingly rare opportunity, seven members of a Chinese military delegation were given a tour of a U.S. C-17 static display and were happy about the opportunity to meet U.S. Airmen.
"I think they were a little surprised at first that we invited them on board," said Capt. Chris Ross, the 535th Combat Readiness Flight Command from JBPH-H 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."
To further showcase U.S. airpower, members from the Air Force demo teams participated in aerial demonstrations during the airshow.
"We do airshows all throughout the Asia-Pacific to increase relations with our partners and allies as part of the U.S. refocus on the Asia-Pacific region," said Nations. "The fact that we are here showcases our fighters not only to the local audience; our presence is also observed by the counties we pass along our flight path to get here."
Organized by India's Ministry of Defense, Aero India boasted participation from 29 visiting countries with approximately 675 exhibitions. The U.S. has participated in this bi-annual trade show since 2005.
U.S. military participation in trade shows furthers defense purchase and supply relationships with India and demonstrates U.S. commitment to India as a regional partner and directly supports U.S. Pacific Command's engagement goals and objectives and furthers relations with other countries.