About 100 US military members are playing an active part in the
Moscow air show August 16-21, as they allow visitors to get a
close-up look at the US Air Force aircraft.
The air show is one of the largest in the world, fourth only to
the air shows in Paris; Farnborough, England; and Dubai.
"(This air show) is one of the premier events of its type in the
world, and we're proud to be a part of it," said Air Force Col.
Scott Nielson, US Air Forces in Europe reserve forces adviser and
air boss for the event.
"Opportunities like this allow us to strengthen our relations
with our Russian partners, and it's also an opportunity to showcase
and display our capabilities," Nielson said. "Our participation
demonstrates our commitment to international security, promotes
international cooperation and contributes to US foreign policy
objectives. It's a win-win situation for everyone involved."
American aircraft showcased include the F-15E Strike Eagle,
F-16C Fighting Falcon, KC-10 Extender, KC-135 Stratotanker and the
The B-1B will perform daily aerial demonstrations, and air show
attendees will be able to see static displays of all of the
aircraft as well as speak with the aircrews.
The airmen said they're looking forward to interacting with
their Russian counterparts.
"It's going to be an awesome experience," said Staff Sgt. Korey
Stiles, a mobile aerial port specialist from the 86th Contingency
Response Group at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. "Not too many
Americans have the opportunity to come to Russia. To be able to
come here and talk with the Russian public and see each other's
aircraft in action -- it's going to be incredible."
This is the second time the United States has displayed military
aircraft at the air show; the first time was in 2003. In 2001 the
Defense Department participated with a technology booth.
(ANN salutes Air Force Master Sgt. Mona Ferrell, who writes
for the US Air Forces in Europe News Service.)