from PACAF Exercises and Readiness Division
3/16/2015 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- From
Feb. 18 through 22, more than 95 U.S. military personnel and Department
of Defense civilians were among the thousands assembled from around the
globe to participate in Aero India 2015, the region's largest
"The tradeshow allowed the U.S. to strengthen its ties with India while
furthering military to military relationships," said Maj. Gen. Kevin
Pottinger, Pacific Air Forces commander mobilization assistant and lead
U.S. Pacific Command representative at Aero India 15.
This year's tradeshow featured the largest and most significant
cross-section of U.S. military aircraft and equipment since its
inception in 1996, totaling seven aircraft. Support included the US Air
Force's F-16 and C-17 Demonstration Teams and F-15D Eagle and KC-135
tanker static displays. The U.S. Navy also supported the event with a
P-8A Poseidon static, while the U.S. Army Special Forces led multiple
combined personnel jumps during the event.
During Aero India, PACAF's F-16 Fighting Falcon Demonstration Team,
stationed at Misawa Air Base, Japan, electrified over 200,000 spectators
in nine separate aerial demonstrations, expertly showcasing the
capabilities of one of the U.S. Air Force's leading fighters. In
addition, the C-17 Globemaster III, stationed at Joint Base Pearl Harbor
Hickam, Hawaii, took to the skies and impressed all with its
exceptional large-aircraft climb, turn and short-field landing
An Aero India favorite was the combined U.S. Army and Indian Special
Forces free fall jumps from a PACAF C-17, which was the first time the
two units jumped together. The jumps demonstrated U.S.-Indian
interoperability and provided a unique training opportunity for more
than forty Special Forces personnel.
"Aero India was a great opportunity to expand U.S. ties with our Indian
counterparts," said U.S. Air Force Col. Keith Gibson, U.S. forces air
boss for those participating in the event. "We are honored to be here
to demonstrate our partnership with India and remain committed to
strengthening our military relationships."
The partnership between India and the United States was on full display
at the tradeshow. Many Indian military personnel had the opportunity to
view U.S. military aircraft up close through demonstrations,
orientation flights and static displays.
Military members were available to explain aircraft capabilities,
highlight the diversity of U.S. military missions, and share their
varying experiences with enthusiastic foreign military personnel and
visitors to the air show. Notable visitors included the U.S. Ambassador
to India the Honorable Richard Verma and Vice Admiral Joseph Rixey,
Director of Defense Security Cooperation Agency.
"This airshow came at a critical juncture to the US-India relationship.
President Obama's January visit to New Delhi and Secretary Kendall's
robust engagement to energize the Defense Technology and Trade
Initiative (DTTI) reflect India's growth as an important and capable
strategic partner with like-minded objectives for regional growth and
stability," said an official spokesperson. " The U.S. was the largest
foreign contingent at the show, with 64 companies represented, eight
senior leaders and seven of the 11 foreign aircraft. It was clear to
those on hand that the Indo-US relationship is an important pillar in
our Pacific rebalance strategy."