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USAFE supports Royal International Air Tattoo

by Tech. Sgt. Martie Moore
421st Air Base Squadron Public Affairs

7/19/2005 - ROYAL AIR FORCE FAIRFORD, England (AFPN) -- More than 150,000 people attended the 2005 Royal International Air Tattoo here July 16 and 17, air show officials said.

The air show has been officially named by the “Guinness Book of Records” as the world’s largest military air show with participation of more than 300 aircraft from more than 30 nations.

This year’s theme was surveillance and included aircraft such as the E-8C Joint Stars and an unmanned Global Hawk from the U.S. Air Force along with the E-3D Sentry and Nimrod MR2 from the Royal Air Force.

Besides surveillance, a salute to the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II and the formation of the United Nations was highlighted. The air show recognized the role played by aircraft in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions since 1945.

“It’s a pleasure and an honor to represent not only the U.S. Air Force but the 351st (Air Refueling Squadron)” said 1st Lt. Dave Caswell, a KC-135 Stratotanker co-pilot at RAF Mildenhall, England. “It was nice to talk to the spectators about our aircraft and mission … it provides an ideal opportunity to build good international relations.”

The U.S. Air Force participated with static displays, aerial flight demonstrations as well a presentation from Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper.

“RIAT is unique,” General Jumper said. “It’s great to come here and show all this to the public so they can see what they get out of their tax dollars, meet the aircrews who go into harms way -- all the elements of airpower, on the ground and in space.”

Besides surveillance aircraft, the C-5 Galaxy, B-52 Stratofortress, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, B-1B Lancer and A-10 Thunderbolt II were on display from various U.S. bases in Europe and the United States.

“This is probably the most involved air show I’ve seen in terms of number of countries, aircraft and vendors,” said Capt. Hans Hilterman, an F-15E pilot with the 492nd Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath, England. “This was a chance for us to inform the public about what we do … many of the spectators were locals who are familiar with our operations, and this venue allowed them to see up close our equipment and what we do.”

More than 300 Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and active-duty Airmen from bases worldwide participated in the air show, including aircrew, maintenance and administrative support services.

Capt. Stephanie Jardine, a C-130J pilot from the 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., was glad she made the journey to participate in this year’s show.

“It was very exciting and we felt very welcomed and well-received by the British public,” she said. “This wasn’t work at all.” (Courtesy of U.S. Air Forces in Europe News Service)

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