Open house showcases US, German partnership

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- NATO service members partnered together to showcase military capabilities and aircraft inventories during an open house here Saturday and Sunday.

During the event, German and U.S. Air Forces Airmen expressed their commitment to furthering the countries' relations.

"We exercise together, we learn from each other and we both improve our techniques," said German air force 1st Lt. Christian Wiemers, 33rd Fighter Bomber Wing and Panavia Tornado Interdictor/Strike Fighter-Bomber pilot. "The strength of our alliance is improving daily."

Thousands of people from across Europe viewed military equipment and spoke with the service members who operate the equipment. The exhibits included demonstrations and 15 static aircraft displays.

"The open house gives a unique perspective on German-American interaction," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Andy Korsmo, 81st Fighter Squadron A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot. "We have both U.S. and German aircraft here, lined up side by side. We're showing off our machines, talking about their heritage and thinking of the future -- all side by side."

As Spangdahlem Air Base is located inside Germany's borders, cooperation and support from the German community is an integral part in contributing to NATO's partnership success, Wiemers said.

"It's a good feeling to partner with the U.S. Air Force," said German air force Master Sgt. Jochen Junglas, 33rd Fighter Bomber Wing and a Panavia Tornado Interdictor/Strike Fighter-Bomber maintainer. "It's good to have an open house to show what we are doing.

"This is a very friendly act," he continued. "It gives a chance to see not only what [the air forces] work with, but where they operate out of."