US Air Forces Europe and US Air Forces Africa, in co-ordination with the US Embassy Pretoria, and at the invitation of the government of South Africa, are mounting a strong presence here at the show.
On display are a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules and a US Army AAI RQ-7 Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), while the Army’s Golden Knights parachute team and the Air Force’s Wings of Dixie band will give much-anticipated performances during the four days.
The C-17 Globemaster III, from the 105th Airlift Wing at Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York, is capable of rapid strategic and tactical delivery of troops and cargo to main and forward operating bases around the world. These aircraft are capable of carrying more than 100 airmen, transporting 36 litter and 54 ambulatory patients and attendants or airlifting 77,519kg (179,900 lb) of cargo.
The C-130J Super Hercules, from the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, is capable of operating from rough dirt strips and is the prime transport for airdropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. The Super Hercules can carry more than 120 airmen and has a range of more than 3,218km (2,000 miles).
Also on display is a US Army RQ-7 Shadow, a remotely piloted aircraft from the New York Army National Guard’s 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team from Fort Drum. The RQ-7 is capable of flying at a cruising speed of 109km/h (68mph) and has a range of approximately 109km (68 miles).
The US Army Parachute Team, better known as the Golden Knights, embodies the spirit of strong soldiers around the world. Members are drawn from army paratroopers who have demonstrated excellence and, as a testament to their professionalism and skills, the Golden Knights enjoy an unparalleled safety record in the parachuting arena.
The Wings of Dixie band is the only ensemble of its kind representing the US Air Forces in Europe and has been performing for more than a decade.