Static displays provide up-close look at American airpower
2/27/2008 - CHANGI NORTH, Singapore -- Fifteen minutes of fame, it's something many hope for in their lifetimes. For some U.S. military members participating in the 2008 Singapore Air Show Feb. 19 to 24, the wait is over. Whether flying an air demonstration or manning a static display, Airmen and Sailors were the stars of the show as they represented the United States in front of crowds of show goers.
(PressZoom) - 2/27/2008 - CHANGI NORTH, Singapore¬ -- Fifteen minutes of fame, it's something many hope for in their lifetimes. For some U.S. military members participating in the 2008 Singapore Air Show Feb. 19 to 24, the wait is over. Whether flying an air demonstration or manning a static display, Airmen and Sailors were the stars of the show as they represented the United States in front of crowds of show goers.
A cross-section of U.S. military aircraft and equipment were on static display to include F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-18 Super Hornet, a WC-130 Hercules weather reconnaissance aircraft, KC-135 Stratotanker and B-1B Lancer bomber. In addition, Pacific Air Force's F-16 demonstration team and a Pacific Fleet F-18 demonstration team performed daily.
"This is incredible experience," said Air Force Reserve Command Tech. Sgt. Jeff Stack, a WC-130 loadmaster with the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at Biloxi Miss. "We had an opportunity to meet a lot of people from different countries and show what we do. One day we were visited by members from India who may be flying the C-130 and it was great to network and show them the aircraft."
Close by, Capt. Pat Pulaski a KC-135 pilot and other members of the 909th Air Refueling Squadron at Kadena Air Base, Japan, showed visitors the KC-135. "This air show is huge and it's a great privilege to bring the KC-135 out to an international air show. The people and hospitality have been great."
In addition to the KC-135, Kadena AB also has two F-15s from the 44th Fighter Squadron on display. "It's a great opportunity for the Air Force to be here and further our relationship with Singapore," said pilot Capt. Andy Rule as he walked visitors around his aircraft. "The people here are very nice, welcomed us and have taken great care of us throughout the show."
Next to the F-15s, the U.S. Navy displayed its newest fighter, an F-18 Super Hornet from Strike Fighter Squadron 102, Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan. "It's great to see all the interest in our aircraft when we come out to these shows," said Navy Lt. George Zintak, an F-18 weapons system officer. "I've had a great time and I'm glad I got the opportunity to come out here and do this."
A highlight of the Singapore Air Show was the B-1 from the 28th Bomb Wing, Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. Aircrews flew a nonstop 21-hour mission to participate in the show.
"It's an honor to bring the B-1 here and be part of this event," said Col. Pete Castor, the vice commander of the 28th Bomb Wing. "From my level, it's also great to see the camaraderie between our operations and maintenance personnel. The maintainers are completely involved giving briefings and answering questions. They're the ones who keep these aircraft flying and it's nice to see them get the recognition they deserve."
For air show visitors, the experience was just as rewarding.
"This our first time seeing these types of aircraft so closely," said air show visitor Akash Sharma as he and his 3-year-old son Archit walked around an F-15 Feb. 23. "When the planes are in sky they look so small, but when you get a chance to see them up close you see that they are powerful machines."
Through participation in international air and trade shows and other regional events, the United States demonstrates its commitment to the security of the Asia-Pacific region, promotes standardization and interoperability of equipment, and displays capabilities critical to the success of current and future military operations.
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