BERLIN, Germany — The U.S. armed forces showed the world what they're made of as the weeklong ILA 2010 Berlin International Aerospace Exhibition and Conferences kicked off June 8 at the Berlin-Schoenefeld Airport.
Approximately 90 U.S. military aircrew and support personnel from bases in Europe and continental U.S. are participating in the Berlin Air Show, one of the premier events of its type in the world.
The U.S. Air Force is showcasing the B-1B Lancer, C-130J Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III, C-5 Galaxy, KC-135 Stratotanker and B-52 Stratofortress to an expected 200,000 visitors to this year’s air show.
“Our participation here contributes to a number of U.S. security and foreign policy interests,” said Air Force Col. Steve Vlasak, U.S. Air Forces in Europe director of Safety. “It promotes standardization and interoperability of equipment with our NATO allies and other potential coalition partners and highlights the strength of the U.S. commitment to the security of Europe. The U.S. participation enhances U.S. and German military-to-military relationship as well as fosters good relations and better understanding among nations.”
Touted as having the largest participation in its 100-year history, the Berlin Air Show features 1,153 exhibitors from 47 countries, including the United States, presenting advanced technology. The event is organized by the German Aerospace Industries Association, Berlln and Messe Berlin GmbH.
“We are excited to be here,” said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Kimberly Ernst, U.S. European Command's J-5 Security Cooperations Branch Trade Show coordinator. “This is an opportunity for us to showcase some of our aircraft as well as our sharp service members. It will allow us to provide a glimpse on what the American military is all about.”
Preparation for this event includes pooling resources, such as personnel, aircraft and equipment from U.S. military units from around the world.
“We worked really hard in ensuring we showcase the best of the best,” Ernst said. “The teamwork is really topnotch. As soon as we landed here, our people worked round-the-clock, from taxiing aircraft to setting up the displays, and ensuring security of our airplanes. ”
According to Vlasak, he is excited about the event and hopes that the Berlin Air Show visitors will gain an appreciation and knowledge about the U.S. military.
“We hope to provide an enjoyable show for everyone,” he said. “Today is only the beginning. We expect the Berlin Air Show visitors to come and see our finest aircraft and meet the great men and women of the U.S. military.”