U.S. Air Force Lands at Moscow Air Show
By Master Sgt. Mona Ferrell, USAF
Special to American Forces Press Service
ZHUKOVSKY, Russia, Aug. 15, 2005 U. S. Air Force maintainers chocked and secured six U.S. Air Force aircraft at Ramenskoye Airfield here Aug. 14, as they prepare to participate in the Moscow International Aviation and Space Salon.
About 100 U.S. military members are playing an active part in the Moscow air show Aug. 16-21, as they allow visitors to get a close-up look at the U.S. Air Force aircraft.
Air Force Master Sgts. Mario Andujo (left) and Raul Garcia, both crew chiefs from the 749th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., place engine covers on a KC-10 Extender after arriving at the Ramenskoye Airfield for the Moscow International Air Show and Space Salon Aug. 14. About 100 U.S. military members are playing an active part in the air show Aug. 16-21, as they allow visitors to get a close-up look at the U.S. Air Force aircraft. Photo by 1st Lt. Tracy Page, USAF
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
The air show is one of the largest in the world, fourth only to the air shows in Paris; Farnborough, England; and Dubai.
"(This air show) is one of the premier events of its type in the world, and we're proud to be a part of it," said Air Force Col. Scott Nielson, U.S. Air Forces in Europe reserve forces adviser and air boss for the event.
"Opportunities like this allow us to strengthen our relations with our Russian partners, and it's also an opportunity to showcase and display our capabilities," Nielson said. "Our participation demonstrates our commitment to international security, promotes international cooperation and contributes to U.S. foreign policy objectives. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved."
American aircraft showcased include the F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16C Fighting Falcon, KC-10 Extender, KC-135 Stratotanker and the B-1B Lancer.
The B-1B will perform daily aerial demonstrations, and air show attendees will be able to see static displays of all of the aircraft as well as speak with the aircrews.
The airmen said they're looking forward to interacting with their Russian counterparts.
"It's going to be an awesome experience," said Staff Sgt. Korey Stiles, a mobile aerial port specialist from the 86th Contingency Response Group at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. "Not too many Americans have the opportunity to come to Russia. To be able to come here and talk with the Russian public and see each other's aircraft in action -- it's going to be incredible."
This is the second time the United States has displayed military aircraft at the air show; the first time was in 2003. In 2001 the Defense Department participated with a technology booth.
(Air Force Master Sgt. Mona Ferrell writes for the U.S. Air Forces in Europe News Service.)