Air show strengthens bonds in the Pacific

Story and photo by Staff Sgt. David Owsianka

PACAF Public Affairs

Approximately 100,000 people poured onto the flightline to experience the 2018 Singapore International Airshow (SIA) at the Changi Exhibition Centre, Singapore, Feb. 6-11.

The air show is the largest defense exhibition and biennial international trade and airshow in the Pacific, with approximately 50 nations and foreign delegations and 1,000 defense contractors participating.

“Being part of the airshow is a good opportunity to see other airframes, interact with aircrews from other nations and strengthen our regional partnerships,” said Tech Sgt. Douglas Tadevich, 535th Airlift Squadron C-17 Globemaster III loadmaster.

“People may think the military is just about fighting wars, but we are able to talk about our aircraft’s [C-17] capabilities to provide humanitarian assistance around the world. This helped them understand the full range of what we can do.”

One of the performance that stayed grounded was the U.S. Air Force Band of the Pacific, which performed twice for the large airshow audience. Another popular stop for the airshow visitors was the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor and, for the first time at the Singapore airshow, the U.S. Marine Corps F-35B Lighting II. In addition to the 5th generation fighters, the C-17 Globemaster III, E-3B Sentry, RQ-4 Global Hawk, B-52H Stratofortress, P-8 Poseidon, AH-6 Little Bird, F-16 Fighting Falcon, and F-18 Super Hornet provided static displays or aerial demonstrations during the event.

The large crowd had the opportunity to visit the various aircraft in attendance and interact with the aircrews.

“Seeing all of the aircraft has been amazing, especially being able to see all of the aerial demonstrations,” said Weiling Tan, who is attending her first airshow here. “Allowing us to be able to come out, to view the aircraft and interact with the air-crew, is pretty important because it gives us a better understanding of each military’s mission.”

By interacting with international partners and allies, the U.S. improved on its already strong ties with Singapore.

“This event was a great opportunity for us to showcase our capabilities as a military to those in attendance,” said Col. Christopher Faurot, SIA U.S. mission commander.

“Being here also gives us the chance to engage with foreign partners, to promote regional stability and security while creating lasting relationships to support each other.”

“Maintaining regional stability is imperative for us to build on our strong relationships and promote a capacity for security in this region,” Faurot said. “This airshow enabled us to strengthen our partnership with Singapore, promote interoperability, all the while strengthening our relations within the local community.”

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Category: FeaturedNews