MAINZ — The annual Rheinland-Pfalz-Tag (State Fair) took place in Mainz, Germany, from May 20 to 22 with displays throughout the city center and along the Rhine River promenade. The three-day event included individual towns and cities showcasing their communities, and organizations and clubs informing visitors about their activities. The State Parliament conducted an open house where visitors could visit the chamber, and live music was presented on numerous stages.
U.S. Air Force and Army units participated within the joint Military Capability Display area along with the German Bundeswehr. The 86th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department demonstrated the capability of their fire truck, handed out fire helmets to children and talked about their daily tasks as firemen along with their mascot Sparky.
The 786th Civil Engineer Squadron, Emergency Management Services, explained the differences between HAZMAT and MOPP gear and demonstrated devices to detect dangerous substances to interested visitors. HAZMAT and MOPP gear are suits to protect the body against dangerous substances. The Ramstein Hercules Innovation Lab demonstrated its 3-D printer, heat detecting equipment and the capability of its drones.
Two U.S. Army units from the 21st Theater Sustainment Command also participated in the joint event. The 529th Military Police Company from Wiesbaden showcased their Humvee where visitors could climb in or try out a flak vest and a helmet. The 421st Medical Battalion had a mobile emergency tent for injured personnel on display and demonstrated its highly mechanical barking, growling and injured DIESEL dog.
A parade with 73 organizations and music groups concluded the event on Sunday afternoon with the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Band also entertaining the visitors with its tunes. Air Force and Army senior leadership represented the U.S. Forces during a visit to the military display area and at the reception hosted by Malu Dreyer, Minister President of Rheinland-Pfalz.
The State of Rheinland-Pfalz has been host to the largest U.S. military presence in Germany for over seven decades and celebrated its 75th anniversary in May. The State Fair offered an excellent opportunity for the U.S. Armed Forces to display their diverse areas of expertise in an encounter with the local populace and to promote German-American friendship.