Featured Nation--Featured Friendship

  • Published
  • By Col. Marc Caudill
  • Pacific Command Mission Commander, Singapore Airshow 2014

The best way to win a war is to win and maintain the peace from the very start.  The week of Feb. 10 marked another crowning achievement from the front lines of peacetime operations as forces from around the U.S. Pacific Command answered the call to support America's close friend and key Asia-Pacific strategic partner, Singapore.

This year the organizers of the 2014 Singapore International Airshow and Expo named the U.S. a "featured" country, and we did not disappoint. 

The U.S. Navy supported by sending the newest anti-submarine, anti-surface warfare and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance aircraft: the P-8 Poseidon--the unit represented here was the first P-8 unit to deploy to combat. 

The U.S. Marines supported by sending their new MV-22 and KC-130J aircraft.  These aircraft figured prominently in recent relief operations in Philippines.  Moreover, it was the synergy of these two aircraft which enabled the vital delivery of relief supplies to the hardest hit, most unreachable disaster areas--"on-time and on-target." 

The U.S. Pacific Air Forces supported by sending each of its premier aerial demonstration teams:  The F-16CJ Fighting Falcon and the C-17 Globemaster III--together showcasing the tremendous capabilities of U.S. global reach and global power.  Rounding out the Pacific Air Forces' list of aerial assets was the venerable KC-135 Stratotanker--a time-tested enabler of America's global reach.  Equally important to our international engagement and winning the peace, was the unique blend of hard-and soft-power, best represented by the myriad performances of the Pacific Air Forces Band--a definite crowd pleaser. 

Whether in the skies above Singapore performing F-16, MV-22, and C-17 aerial demonstrations or on the hot tarmac of the static display corral below, our Sailors, Marines, and Airmen performed brilliantly.

With the skills of trained diplomats, each spoke eloquently to the unique capabilities and mission.  In the end, the high-ranking military and government officials, as well as the most important distinguished visitors of all--the people of Singapore--were well pleased.  The U.S. team was treated like rock stars, but we were the ones who were truly honored and humbled by the unique experience. 

Perhaps that is the most important message of all:  international airshows are unlike U.S. airshows; they are crucial venues to project peace, friendship, and security.  Our participation and transparency at these events assures our allies and friends and dissuades aggressors.  It is through our participation in these venues we get the biggest return on our investment--we maintain the peace and security across the Asia-Pacific.