FARNBOROUGH, United Kingdom — The 2010 Farnborough International Air Show came to a close July 25.
The show featured more than 70 U.S. aircrew and support personnel, 11 participating aircraft and countless hours of coordination and follow-thru’s.
The U.S. military's participation in the Farnborough International Air Show focused on building partnership capacity by promoting standardization and interoperability of equipment with NATO allies and other potential coalition partners. It also highlighted the strength of the United States' commitment to the security of Europe.
This year, more than 285,000 people caught a glimpse of the U.S. military's airpower during the week-long event that began July 19. Featured aircraft included the Army’s RQ-7, Navy’s F/A-18F and MH-60R, Marines’ UH-1Y, and the Air Force’s F-16C, C-130J, C-17, F-15E, F-22 and B-52.
The U.S. presence at the show included 70 military aircrew and support personnel putting their best foot forward as U.S ambassadors. This event enhanced military-to-military relationships with the United Kingdom, as well as fostered good relations and better understanding among nations.
"Some people are interacting with Americans for the first time here," said Air Force Airman 1st Class Eures Taylor, 48th Security Forces Squadron, RAF Lakenheath. "I am glad that I get to be a representative and give them a good perception of America."
The U.S. coral was an item of interest for several of the spectators with the lines extending to two-hour waits.
According to Air Force Capt. Naomi Evangelista, Farnborough International Air Show U.S. Joint Information Bureau, there was a little boy waiting in line voicing his interest in seeing his favorite plane, the F-15E Strike Eagle, and his mother was afraid they would not have time to tour the aircraft before having to catch the bus.
"After the young boy got his tour of the fighter jet, he had the biggest smile on his face," said Evangelista. "The mother came up to me and thanked me saying, 'I know I will not be able to get that smile off his face for a long time. This is why we are here."
According to many involved, it was an opportunity of a lifetime. Experiencing the show and feeling first-hand the public admiration for the U.S. military's aviation capabilities will not be soon forgotten.
"Being able to see that they appreciate what we are doing is a very gratifying experience," said Navy Lt. Joshua Morgan, Naval air crewman (tactical), Mayport Naval Station, Fla.
According to Air Force Col. Robert Suminsby, Farnborough International Air Show U.S. Air Boss, by having a variety of aircraft showcased by each branch of service, the Department of Defense truly highlights that all four services rely on air capabilities.
"Almost everything we do has some component that requires us to have mastery of the air," said Suminsby. "We want people to understand and appreciate how air power contributes to the fight. It's a key enabler and continues to deliver performance that allows everyone else to do what they need to do more effectively."
According to Suminsby, each U.S. military branch of service is involved with air capabilities to some degree. The kind of teamwork that he has seen displayed here is crucial for when the different services have to integrate those capabilities and operate together in combat operations.
Suminsby also went on to add that this event did not just include the U.S. but was a multi-nation event.
“We have a multi-national crowd here,” he said. “As you know, there’s no such thing as a single-nation airplane anymore- every plane built is a multi-nation effort. Many nations have a stake in producing these aircraft and putting together the kind of technology required to do what they do.”
As the 2010 Farnborough International Air Show winds down, the lines dwindle, spectators disperse and aircraft who once sat proudly on static display just days ago return home, the small Farnborough community returns to its original state for another two years until the next Farnborough air show in 2012.