U.S. military aircraft from Europe and the U.S. were on display during this year’s Berlin Air and Trade Show, June 1-4.
The International Aerospace Exhibition, also known as the “Internationale Luft- und Raumfahrtausstellung” in German, or ILA for short, is one of the oldest airshows around dating back more than 100 years.
ILA hosts a trade exhibition for aviation and military organizations, as well as an air show for the general public where 200 aircraft from 37 countries on the ground and air were exhibited this year.
The Berlin Air Show presents an opportunity for U.S. and other military allies to showcase their leadership in aerospace technologies and to build partnerships. The first two days of the event are designated for trade visitors, while the final two days are open to the public.
“It’s important to be here to demonstrate solidarity with our partner nations, show how we can work together and what we can develop together for future operations,” said Lt. Col. Steacy Housholder, Air Force Global Strike Command bomber training standardization and evaluations chief from Barksdale Air Force Base, La.
Participation in the event allowed U.S. air crews to speak with other air crews and increase their understanding of each other’s proficiencies.
“We have people here from different countries and it’s neat to see different aircrafts and what their capabilities are as well,” said Capt. Chelsea Lesniewski, Boeing C-17 Globemaster II pilot assigned to the 315th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Charleston. “We enjoy seeing the different airframes and learning from meeting and talking to their air crews.”
Building familiarity and partnerships with NATO allies is also a goal shared by the German host.
“A coalition can only work if friends and partners work and understand each other,” said German Lt. Col. Thomas Schneider, commander operations crew tactical air wing service, ground display manager. “If you can exchange and share experiences and information between different militaries, the whole coalition can benefit from that.”
U.S. military aircraft on display during the show included the C-17 “Spirit of Berlin,” Rockwell B-1B Lancer, Boeing CH-47 Chinook and Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules were exhibited on the ground. A Boeing B-52 Stratofortress performed a flyover on June 4.
“We are delighted to have these U.S. aircraft from Europe and overseas and working together is always a pleasure,” Schneider said. “We are really happy to have you here in Germany.”
Story and photo by U.S. Air Force