AFCENT leads US military presence alongside partners during Bahrain International Airshow 2022

  • Published
  • By Capt. Kayshel Trudell
  • Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central)

U.S. Central Command participated in the 2022 Bahrain International Airshow, or BIAS22, alongside coalition and partner nations at Sakhir Airbase, Bahrain, Nov. 9-11.

“Our participation in the BIAS22 builds upon our strong relationship with the Kingdom of Bahrain and enhances our relationships with other allies and partners in the region,” said Maj. Gen. David Harris, deputy commander, Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central), and deputy combined forces air component commander, CENTCOM.

Since the inception of the BIAS in 2010, U.S. military support and participation has continued to build and enhance enduring relationships in the region.

During BIAS22, Harris met with the Royal Bahrain air force Deputy Commander, Maj. Gen. Munther Al Khalifa, Israel’s air force Chief of Staff, Brig. Gen. Eyal Grinboim and the Pakistani air force Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marchal Zaheer Ahmed Baber Sidhu, for key leader engagements. 

“Events like these are just one way U.S. forces work together with our partner nations and demonstrate continued commitment to the security and stability of this region,. Harris said.

The three-day airshow includes static aircraft on display and aerial demonstrations by U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy pilots, highlighting the wide range of capabilities inherent in U.S. military aviation. Performances by the AFCENT also took place each day of the BIAS22.

Participating aircraft include U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 77th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron flown by the Pacific Air Forces Demonstration Team, F-15E Strike Eagle from the 389th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, C-130J Super Hercules from the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, E-11 aircraft from the 378th AEW and U.S. Navy MH-53 Sea Dragon and P-8 Poseidon from Bahrain, plus a U.S. Army High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) from Alpha Battery, and 2nd Battalion 130th Field Artillery Regiment currently stationed in Camp Arifjan Kuwait.

“Our military relationship with the Bahrain Defense Force goes back more than 50 years, before the formation of USCENTCOM,” said Gen. Michael Kurilla, USCENTCOM commander, during an October visit to Manama. “Given the increasing complexity of regional threats, the advances in unmanned aerial systems and ballistic missile capability, and the continued threat of terror groups, this relationship is more important now than ever. USCENTCOM must rely on our partners in the region to solve the region’s complex problems. We are firmly committed to our partnership with the Bahrain Defense Force; this relationship is ironclad.”

The Office of the Secretary of Defense approved participation in the event to advance and strengthen U.S. defense ties with its allies and partners in the Middle East. Roughly 100 U.S. military and civilian personnel supported BIAS22.