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Airmen, Sailors demonstrate airpower at Bahrain International Airshow

by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Kapinos
Air Force Central Command combat camera team

1/25/2010 - MANAMA, Bahrain (AFNS) -- Servicemembers from the Air Force and Navy completed their mission to highlight U.S. airpower at the inaugural Bahrain International Airshow held Jan. 21-23 here.

The three-day event included static displays of fighter jets, transport planes and light aircraft along with aerial demonstrations by a Navy tactical demonstration crew and foreign military flight teams.

Military leaders, civilian officials and thousands of Bahrainis made the journey to a brand new airfield to view the latest in aviation technology and meet with aircrews from the United States, Europe and the Middle East.

Fighters parked next to civilian airliners in the bright sun, surrounded by colorful displays and flags representing many different countries. A military band entertained the crowd with local and international tunes lending a festive air to the entire event.

The festivities were enjoyed by many of the Airmen and Sailors who visited with multitudes of spectators every day. For one Airman in particular, it was a treat interacting with people from a different culture.

"It has been very exciting for me, and I love it," said Airman Erik Eisenach, a C-17 Globemaster III loadmaster assigned to the 317th Airlift Squadron from Charleston Air Force Base, S.C. "This is my first airshow ever as an aircrew member and it really gives you a lot of insight into how people see the C-17 when they don't know a lot about airplanes. You watch the people come on board and you see their eyes go wide at the size of the plane. It is really great seeing their reaction to my plane."

Several Navy F-18E/F Super Hornets supported by more than a dozen Sailors made the journey to Bahrain to showcase the aircraft both on the ground and in the air. People found their way to the flightline every time the powerful attack fighter roared into the sky.

Spotlighting the jet and connecting with the Bahrainis was exciting for the Sailors as well.

"On a scale of one to 10, I would call this event a 13," said Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Kyle Venable, assigned to the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier. "It's been really enjoyable meeting the people from all the different countries, all the while representing my own country and the U.S. Navy at the same time. It has been a real experience for me."

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