Paris Air Show

Airman 1st Class Marc Lane

***image1***The entire Le Bourget Airport is filled with the impressive roar of an FA-18 tearing across the sky. Few of the daily flights highlighting the capabilities of aircraft presented at the 47th International Paris Air Show come close to that of the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet.

***image3***When most people hear the phrase “air power” they think strictly Air Force, but Lt. Cmdr. Len Haidl, F/A-18 pilot, VFA-106 Gladiators, Naval Air Station Oceana, was out to dispel that myth at the air show.

The Navy FA-18 has a following all its own. With a top speed of Mach 1.8, this modern all weather strike fighter jet is designed to attack both ground and aerial targets.

Parked between an Air Force Lockheed C-130 Hercules and a F-16 Fighting Falcon Commander Haidl said, “It’s pretty impressive to hear the public and also our Air Force compatriots say ‘Wow I didn’t know their airplane could do that.’ Anytime you put fighter crews together you’re always going to think you’re better than the other person, and I don’t think I’d want someone flying another plane who didn’t think they were the best.

 It’s all about getting to know our fellow services to build that team to do what we need to do.” 

Rear Adm. Richard K. Gallagher, director of European command plans and operations center, United States European Command, stopped by the Navy’s exhibit to speak to the air crew about his experiences with the F/A-18 and his impression of this year’s air show.

***image2***“The U.S. presence here is evident by these wonderful airplanes but more importantly by the aircrew and the maintenance professionals that are here to represent our country and our military by showing our dedication to working with our allies and coalition partners of the nations of Western Europe which are so important to our efforts around the planet right now. The U.S. has very close partners, they’re represented here today.” said Admiral Gallagher.