U.S. military showcased at Dubai Air Show

  • Published
  • By Chief Master Sgt. Renee Tyron
  • U.S. Central Command Air Forces
More than 325 American servicemembers participated in the 10th Dubai Air Show Nov. 11 through 15 here.

Airmen, Sailors and Soldiers provided logistics, force protection and maintenance support to the various U.S. aircraft on display and performing aerial demonstrations.

The Dubai Air Show is currently the third largest air show in the world. U.S. planning for this year's show started just after the 2005 show. 

"We have a representative sample of U.S. airplanes. We have manned, unmanned, fighters, bombers and surveillance (here)," said Lt. Gen. Gary L. North, the commander of 9th Air Force and U.S. Central Command Air Forces. "Many of these aircraft are involved in combat operations today as we speak."

Support for these types of events is beneficial as it builds and strengthens the Air Force's ability to cultivate partnerships with allied military and defense contingents.

"This is so important because the Air Force relationship we have with the UAE is especially strong," said Bruce S. Lemkin, the undersecretary of the Air Force for international affairs. "Having our Airmen here and having our airplanes here demonstrates our appreciation for this relationship. Our Airmen learn about the culture here, learn about the perspective of our UAE partners, and when they go home they have a greater appreciation and that spreads. And the UAE learns to appreciate our Airmen."

Along with static displays and aerial demonstrations, the Department of Defense is also hosting several technology and information exhibits at the Dubai Airport Expo Centre with all the U. S. military services represented. 

Making one of its final appearances is the F-117 Nighthawk, which will soon retire after 25 years in the Air Force inventory.

For the crew of the E-3A Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System, the highlight of the week was a royal visit. While on a walking tour of the airfield static displays, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, met with U.S. military aircrews shaking hands and thanking them for their participation.

"Sheikh Mohammed welcomed our crews to Dubai and told me that the people of Dubai were very appreciative of our support during this air show," said Lt. Col. John Ukleya from the 552nd Air Control Wing based at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. "He's a huge aviation enthusiast and he was very interested in our aircraft." 

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