U.S. military showcased at Dubai Air Show
By Chief Master Sgt. Renée Tyron, U.S. Central Command Air Forces Public Affairs
/ Published November 16, 2007
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- More than 325 U.S. military members participated in the 10th Edition of the Dubai Air Show this week. Servicemembers from the Navy, Army and Air Force provided logistics, force protection and maintenance support to the various U.S. aircraft on display and aerial demonstrations.
The Dubai Air Show is currently the third largest air show in the world and is poised to jump even higher by 2009.
U.S. planning for this year's show started just after the 2005 show. "It takes a long time to plan for an event of this size," said Colonel Knouse. Working from the U.S. Embassy, he was responsible for the overall planning for the U. S. contingent at the Dubai Air Show.
"We have a representative sample of U.S. airplanes. We have Navy, we have Air Force. We have manned, unmanned, fighters, bombers and surveillance," said Air Force Lt. Gen. Gary North, Commander of 9th Air Force and United States Central Command Air Forces. "Many of these aircraft are involved in combat operations today as we speak."
Support for these types of events is beneficial as it builds and strengthens our ability to cultivate partnerships with allied military and defense contingents.
"This is so important because the Air Force relationship we have with the UAE is especially strong," said Mr. Bruce Lemkin, Under Secretary of the U. S. Air Force for International Affairs. "Having our Airmen here, having our airplanes here, demonstrates our appreciation for this relationship. Our Airmen learn about the culture here, learn about the perspective of our UAE partners. And when they go home, they have a greater appreciation and that spreads. And the UAE learns to appreciate our Airmen."
Along with static displays and aerial demonstrations, the Department of Defense is also hosting several technology and information exhibits at the Dubai Airport Expo Centre with all the U. S. military services represented, including the last showing of the U. S. Air Force's 60th Anniversary Task Force.
"The task force officially culminates with our display here at the Dubai Air Show and at Nellis Air Force Base's Heritage to Horizons Week," said Air Force Master Sgt. Kevin Westberg.
While speaking to reporters in front of the Department of Defense exhibits, Mr. Claude Bolton, Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology stressed the significance of the Dubai Air Show.
"I'm proud of what the U.S. has brought to this particular show. It's good being here," he said. "You cannot prosecute the global war on terror and the things we're asked to do as a single force. Whether its ground force, air force or sea force, they all come together. Its neat being here, its an education for me to see what's going on, to talk to the folks here and see how we can actually do a better job working together in the future...today, tomorrow and certainly the next time we come to this show."
Also making its final appearance at an air show is the F-117A Nighthawk. Soon to retire after 25 years in the U. S. Air Force inventory.
For the crew of the E-3A Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System, the highlight of the week was a royal visit. While on a walking tour of the airfield static displays, his Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, met with U. S. military aircrews shaking hands and thanking them for their participation.
"Sheikh Mohammed welcomed our crews to Dubai and told me that the people of Dubai were very appreciative of our support during this air show," said Air Force Lt. Col. John Ukleya from the 552nd Air Control Wing based at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. "He's a huge aviation enthusiast and he was very interested in our aircraft."