CSAF, AFCENT commander highlight partnership in 2011 Dubai Airshow

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Tania Reid
  • U.S. Air Forces Central Command correspondent
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and U.S. Air Forces Central Command Commander Lt. Gen. David Goldfein met with key United Arab Emirates leaders aboard the John C. Stennis (CVN-74) Navy carrier Nov. 13 in conjunction with the Dubai Airshow 2011 and the UAE's 40th Anniversary.

"The Dubai Airshow provides an opportunity for the U.S. and nations of the Gulf region to come together in the spirit of friendship," Schwartz said. "It's an avenue to interact with the various representatives from the global community, which doesn't happen as often as we'd like."

The DAS is significant to the UAE's history. It reflects the UAE's development in aerospace for the past 40 years, with the percentage of UAE exhibitors rising from just five percent at the first show in 1989 to 35 percent of exhibitors at this year's show.

This year, more than 150 AFCENT Airmen participated, helping to demonstrate the Air Force's airpower capabilities. Goldfein praised the efforts made by those supporting the event.

"The role of the Airmen at the air show has been vital," Goldfein said. "Their knowledge and expertise has helped in deepening the relationships with our UAE and global partners."

United Arab Emirates retired Maj. Gen. Khaled Abdullah Al Bu Ainnain, the Middle East Military and Defense Projects executive vice president, said he was honored to participate in the event, which showed the strength of the partnership between his country and the U.S.

"It's a very unique opportunity to meet with all our allies and partners," he said. "The show has been a platform for the gulf region and the U.S. to work together synergistically and is an excellent occasion for both countries to showcase what they each have to offer."

Michael Corbin, the ambassador of the United States to the United Arab Emirates, also said the DAS has many benefits to all countries involved.

"This shows the importance of military and civilian aviation cooperation across the region," Corbin said.

As the UAE gets ready to celebrate its 40th anniversary, this event represents the epitome of the strength of the country's relationship with the U.S. as well as the UAE's international role, he added.

"Our military relationship here is part of our global superiority posture in support of the ... region," Corbin said.