More than 100 different aircraft from 10 nations were on display at the Innovation and Leadership in Aerospace Berlin tradeshow and airshow, commonly known as ILA Berlin, from June 22-26.
Over 200 U.S. military personnel represented the Department of Defense at the tradeshow and airshow, which kicked off June 22, from the Berlin Expo Center Airport, Berlin Brandenburg International Airport. The U.S. military provided nine different types of fixed wing and rotary aircraft this year.
“As a team, it was our responsibility to be the point of contact for all the DOD assets here at the show as we plan and execute our participation for the events,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Eric Winterbottom, chief of USAFE AFAF A310/A3F Forces Management Division, and this year’s Airboss for the U.S. “We joined together with the host nation as well as other military forces, manufacturers from around the globe on aerospace equipment, as well as government representatives, to share information and help each other in the realm of defense as well as emerging technologies for the future.”
ILA Berlin is one of the premier tradeshow/airshows in the world and held every other year. The last event occurred in 2018, with 2020 canceled due to the pandemic. This year’s schedule included conferences, business meetings, and workshops that were open to trade visitors and invited guests. Static aircraft were also on display and an air show took place on Saturday and Sunday, which was open to the public.
This year the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy all had aircraft on display for guests. During visits to the U.S. military aircraft, patrons had the opportunity to view or tour the interiors, including individual tours of the flight decks and cargo areas, and the opportunity to ask crew members questions.
“We have a good mix of aircraft at ILA 2022,” Winterbottom said. “The UH-60 Black Hawk, LUH-72 Lakota, AH-64 Apache, P-8A Poseidon, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16C Fighting Falcon, C-17 Globemaster III, and CH-53K King Stallion are all featured this year.”
In addition to the various aircraft, numerous distinguished visitors, including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Amy Gutmann and U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Steven Basham, attended and visited the U.S. servicemembers in the DOD corral.
The presence of U.S. military personnel and aircraft demonstrates U.S. assurance to European Allies and Partners, and highlights U.S. capabilities to diverse audiences. This reaffirms the U.S. commitment to our Allies and Partners amplifying the fact that no nation can confront today’s challenges alone.
“This air and trade show represents our commitment to our Allies,” Basham said. “Having our combined forces of the DOD here shows just how we rely not only on each other but what we are willing to bring to the fight for our Allies.”
Maintaining a capable U.S. presence in Europe strengthens our national security by encouraging peace, unity and cohesion. Together with our Allies and Partners, the U.S. continues to transform and modernize our military forces to enable alliance and coalition operations.
“We cannot fight alone,” Basham said. “This is an opportunity for us to showcase some incredible American aircraft and even more importantly, the American men and women who take care of these aircraft.”
The DOD participates in air and trade exhibitions to provide honest, objective, and candid portraits of the capabilities of the U.S. aircraft presented, which improves international understanding between nations. DOD involvement in ILA Berlin is in our national security interest and contributes to our international defense cooperation objectives.
“We are proud of our U.S. effort here to demonstrate the excellent capabilities our platforms can offer and also reinforcing the defense cooperation with our allies,” Winterbottom said. “The opportunity for our aircrew, maintainers and defenders to cross talk not only with our sister services but our respective allies and guests, was engaging and fun for everyone.”
About 200,000 people were expected to visit ILA 2022 June 22-26.