USAFE showcases military interoperability, capabilities at Farnborough Air Show

  • Published
  • By Capt. Allie Delury
  • USAFE-UK Public Affairs
United States Air Forces in Europe and Department of Defense senior leadership wrapped up a week-long presentation of military aircraft and capabilities at Farnborough International Airshow, July 15-22, 2018 at Farnborough, United Kingdom.

FIA is a biennial international trade show that allows the aerospace industry to demonstrate the latest in both civilian and military aircraft capabilities. Distinguished visitors from the U.S. included: The Honorable Robert Wood Johnson, U.S. Ambassador to the U.K., Under Secretary of the Air Force Matthew Donovan and Brig. Gen. Andrew Hansen, USAFE-UK director.

“U.S. participation in FIA is important strategically because it demonstrates the collective capabilities that we bring together as a nation between the U.K. and the broader NATO alliance,” said Hansen. “It also showcases the technology that exists to any adversary that we have in this theater.”

The event occurred in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force, which brought a unique focus to the trade show. During his first year as USAFE-UK director, Hansen participated in various RAF centennial celebration events, to include the activation of the 617 Squadron, The RAF's first F-35B Lightning II squadron, in addition to their arrival at RAF Marham.

“What an incredibly special time for the U.K. and for our NATO alliance to have that partnership represented and to celebrate 100 years of the RAF collectively as a team, the exclamation point being the F-35,” said Hansen. “What started as reliance on one another for mutual defense and collectively security has really grown into a true friendship between our nations.”

In addition to discussions surrounding the F-35, FIA allowed senior leaders from various industries, to include the DoD, to discuss the way forward in advancing warfighter capabilities across various existing military platforms.

“The RAF is exploring how they’re going to replace their Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft, which is a multi-role aircraft that is complimentary to the F-35,” said Lt. Col. James Gingras, Assistant Air Attaché for the U.S. Embassy in London. “So, they’re looking at developing a system of systems, either manned or unmanned or a combination of the two, to allow them to plan for the fight of the future and implement something effective to meet their needs 20-25 years from now.”

DoD discussions during the airshow centered around security, and demonstrated advances in aerospace technology to nearly 100 countries and an unprecedented number of military and civil commercial delegations.

“Farnborough 2018 represents a fantastic opportunity for U.S. governments to highlight the strength of U.S. commitment to European security, to which we’re 110% committed,” said Lt. Col. Guy Perrow, USAFE Deputy Air Boss. “It also demonstrates the critical role aerospace industry plays in providing that security through the equipment they provide for military operations now and in the future with our allied partners.”

On Saturday, FIA was opened to the public and visitors from all over the world were encouraged to get a closer look at the aircraft displays. This gave participating service members a chance to introduce their respective aircraft to aviation enthusiasts of all ages.

“As a loadmaster, our job is based on mathematics and engineering so it’s important for us to showcase an aircraft like this because it allows us to convey the message that Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs do have some cool, real-life applications,” said A1C Christopher Carmody, a C-130J Super Hercules loadmaster assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

Personnel from the 35th Fighter Wing in Misawa Air Base, Japan also made an appearance. Throughout the week, the Pacific Air Forces F-16 Demonstration Team performed flyovers to airshow attendees.

Nine models of U.S. military aircraft, equipment and approximately 70 aircrew and support personnel from bases in Europe and the United States were featured. The event included static displays of the AH-64 Apache, C-130J Super Hercules, C-130H Hercules, P-8 Poseidon, C-17 Globemaster III, and the CH -47 Chinook.

The next FIA will take place in 2020.