US, allies kick off Berlin Air and Trade Show

Story and photo by Senior Airman Joshua Magbanua
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
A Spanish aerobatic demonstration team flies in formation while a U.S. Air Force C-130J Super Hercules from Ramstein Air Base sits on display April 25 during the Berlin Air and Trade Show. The Berlin Air and Trade Show provides a medium for U.S. and allied nations to exchange information and enhance interoperability.

U.S. military members and government officials joined NATO allies to exhibit aerospace capabilities at an international aerospace event in Berlin, April 25.

U.S. participation in the Berlin Air and Trade show aims to strengthen partnerships during the event, which was scheduled to continue through April 29. The biennial exhibition provides an avenue for Department of Defense and NATO members to exchange information and enhance interoperability.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to demonstrate some of the U.S. capabilities in the aerospace arena,” said Maj. Gen. John B. Williams, Air Force Reserve mobilization assistant to the Commander, U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa. “We have a lot of military representatives here that can showcase some of the hardware we have that represents that aerospace capability.”

U.S. aviators showcased a wide range of aircraft, which included carriers such as the C-130J Super Hercules and C-17 Globemaster III, fighters like the F-15E Strike Eagle and F-16CM Fighting Falcon, and rotary aircraft like the CV-22B Osprey and CH-53K King Stallion. The F-35A Lightning II is also participating in the air show, signaling the multirole fighter’s first appearance in Germany.

Williams described the exhibitions of equipment at the event as monuments to cooperation between allied nations — from the officials who plan important programs, to the masses who come to view the aircraft.

“They [the general public] get an opportunity to see the advancements that we’ve made in technology,” Williams added. “We have nine partner nations involved in the F-35 platform, and those nations together are able to face the security challenges that we have in Europe. We have a C-17 here that’s piloted by a German exchange officer. We work together in a training environment so that we are ready for combat.”

The trade show portion of the event involves presentations by aerospace and defense companies from around the world. Distinguished officials from the U.S., Germany, and other allied nations toured the static aircraft displays and industrial exhibits.

Williams stated that while Europe is a diverse theater of operations, the NATO alliance can face any challenge with all partner nations contributing to the mission.

“We see how we work together: the many nations coming together as one for NATO to defend the alliance,” he said. “With the many partner nations involved, we see that they work together to exploit the advantages that they present when facing those complicated and complex threats in the environment here in Europe.”