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RIAT 2019 showcases U.S. commitment to NATO alliance

U.S. Army Spc. Jillita Grier-Watford, Armed Forces Network Europe broadcaster, meets Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, conducts an interview during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 19, 2019. This year’s RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States’ enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

U.S. Army Spc. Jillita Grier-Watford, Armed Forces Network Europe broadcaster, meets Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, conducts an interview during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 19, 2019. This year’s RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States’ enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

A Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 flies past the audience during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

A Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 flies past the audience during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

An Italian Air Force Leonardo T-346A flies past the audience during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

An Italian Air Force Leonardo T-346A flies past the audience during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons fly past the audience during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoons fly past the audience during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

An Italian Air Force Leonardo T-346A flies past the audience during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

An Italian Air Force Leonardo T-346A flies past the audience during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

A Danish Air Force General Dynamics F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon flies past the audience during the NATO 70th Anniversary Flypast at the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

A Danish Air Force General Dynamics F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon flies past the audience during the NATO 70th Anniversary Flypast at the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

A Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 flies past the audience during the NATO 70th Anniversary Flypast at the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

A Royal Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon FGR4 flies past the audience during the NATO 70th Anniversary Flypast at the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

A Danish Air Force General Dynamics F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon takes off from the runway at the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

A Danish Air Force General Dynamics F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon takes off from the runway at the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

The Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows and a British Airways Boeing 747-436 conduct a flypast during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

The Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows and a British Airways Boeing 747-436 conduct a flypast during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

A U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey flies during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year's RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)
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A U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey flies during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year's RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

A U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey flies during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year's RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)
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A U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey flies during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year's RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

Thousands of attendees watch the aerial demonstrations during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year’s RIAT commemorated the 70th Anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United State’s enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)
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Thousands of attendees watch the aerial demonstrations during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year’s RIAT commemorated the 70th Anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United State’s enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

Thousands of attendees view static displays of NATO aircraft during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year’s RIAT commemorated the 70th Anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United State’s enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)
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Thousands of attendees view static displays of NATO aircraft during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year’s RIAT commemorated the 70th Anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United State’s enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

An air show attendee sits inside the cockpit of a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III static display from Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year's RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)
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An air show attendee sits inside the cockpit of a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III static display from Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year's RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

Squadron leader Clive Wood, RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth RAF commander, and partner Clare Lawrence, pose for a photo during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. RAF Alconbury, RAF Molesworth and RAF Fairford make up three of the seven bases under the control of the U.S. Air Force’s 501st Combat Support Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)
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Squadron leader Clive Wood, RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth RAF commander, and partner Clare Lawrence, pose for a photo during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. RAF Alconbury, RAF Molesworth and RAF Fairford make up three of the seven bases under the control of the U.S. Air Force’s 501st Combat Support Wing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

U.S. Air Force service members from the 315th Airlift Wing host tours for the public inside a C-17 Globemaster III on static display from Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year's RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)
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U.S. Air Force service members from the 315th Airlift Wing host tours for the public inside a C-17 Globemaster III on static display from Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year's RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

Thousands of attendees view static displays of NATO aircraft during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year’s RIAT commemorated the 70th Anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United State’s enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)
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Thousands of attendees view static displays of NATO aircraft during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year’s RIAT commemorated the 70th Anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United State’s enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Katie Engel, Squadron 2 NATO Airborne Warning and Control System weapons controller (left), Norwegian Air Force Lt. Lassie Ostbye, Squadron 2 NATO AWACS fighter allocator (center), and U.S. Air Force Capt. Sharon Kroening, Squadron 2 NATO AWACS weapons controller (right), pose for a group photo during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year's RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)
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U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Katie Engel, Squadron 2 NATO Airborne Warning and Control System weapons controller (left), Norwegian Air Force Lt. Lassie Ostbye, Squadron 2 NATO AWACS fighter allocator (center), and U.S. Air Force Capt. Sharon Kroening, Squadron 2 NATO AWACS weapons controller (right), pose for a group photo during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year's RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

Several members of the Italian Air Force’s Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team conduct aerial maneuvers during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)
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Several members of the Italian Air Force’s Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team conduct aerial maneuvers during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 20, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana sits on static display during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 19, 2019. This year's RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)
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A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana sits on static display during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 19, 2019. This year's RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

A NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force Boeing E-3A Sentry from Geilenkirchen, Germany, approaches for a landing during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 19, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)
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A NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control Force Boeing E-3A Sentry from Geilenkirchen, Germany, approaches for a landing during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 19, 2019. This year, RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States' enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Ryan Golden, 48th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron support technician, and Christopher Morejon, 48th Maintenance Group weapons lead load crew member, meet Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 19, 2019. This year’s RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States’ enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)
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U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Ryan Golden, 48th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron support technician, and Christopher Morejon, 48th Maintenance Group weapons lead load crew member, meet Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, during the 2019 Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, England, July 19, 2019. This year’s RIAT commemorated the 70th anniversary of NATO and highlighted the United States’ enduring commitment to its European allies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jennifer Zima)

RAF FAIRFORD, England --

The world’s largest military air show brought nations from all over the world to RAF Fairford for the Royal International Air Tattoo July 19-21. 

RIAT 2019 commemorated 70 years since the formation of NATO, and 50 years since the first manned moon landing. The three-day event saw more than 175,000 attendees and 245 different aircraft from 39 air arms, which represented 25 nations. From those nations, 48 air chiefs or their representatives attended the show.

RIAT represents a unique opportunity for the U.S., along with other military allies and partners, to showcase their leadership in aerospace technologies while supporting various procurement competitions taking place throughout Europe. 

“This is a great opportunity for us to get together here at RIAT,” said Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander. “I want to thank our U.K., and particularly our RAF, partners for pulling this together…it’s a tremendous event. We look forward to this one and to next year, to increase, deepen and really work on this relationship that is critically important to us.”

U.S. Air Force assets on static display included the CV-22 Osprey, the F-15E Strike Eagle, the B-52 Stratofortress, the C-17 Globemaster III and many other aircraft. Others participated in the various flying demonstrations throughout the weekend, the most significant being a special NATO 70th anniversary flypast of aircraft from the U.S., the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Norway and France. 

The first Air Tattoo was staged in 1971 at the North Weald airfield in Essex, with just over 100 aircraft taking part. From these small beginnings the show became the International Air Tattoo in 1976, and recognition of its unique status was granted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in 1996.

Today, the 501st Combat Support Wing co-hosts RIAT each year with the Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. The RAFCTE supports a range of projects and initiatives benefiting military personnel, cadets and other young people, including flying scholarships and investment in science, technology, engineering and math initiatives. 

“RIAT is one of the most inspiring events that I’ve been involved in in my career,” said Col. William Kale, 501st CSW commander. “The United States values RIAT just as much as the United Kingdom… it’s a great opportunity.”

RAF Fairford has hosted RIAT since 1985, and this year marks the installations 75th anniversary. In its 75 years, Fairford has enabled numerous bomber and reconnaissance aircraft to support combat operations around the globe. It has had pivotal involvement in Operations Desert Storm, Deliberate Force, Allied Force, Iraqi Freedom, and more. Today, the base operates as the premier bomber forward operating location for USAFE-AFAFRICA and the European theater.