U.S. Air Force will participate in flying demonstrations and static displays for the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) conducted at RAF Fairford, United Kingdom from July 14 to 16.
“U.S. participation in RIAT highlights the strength of the U.S. commitment to European security, the NATO Alliance, our ever-strong Alliance with U.K., and demonstrates interoperability with Allies and partners from around the world”, U.S. European Command said in a statement.
U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, with their F-16s, and F-22 Raptor demonstrations teams will perform at the show. U.S. military aircraft scheduled for display at the show includes B-52 Stratofortress strategic bomber, B-1B Lancer long-range supersonic bomber, C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft, CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor, MC-130J special mission aircraft, F-16 fighter and P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol ASW aircraft. Additional aircraft may also participate in support roles.
The airshow provides opportunity for international aviators and air chiefs to meet for military discussions, showcase military aviation and enable the Alliance to work together as a team.
This year’s airshow was also designated as a commemoration for the U.S. Air Force’s 70th birthday by U.S. Air Forces in Europe with the theme: American Airmen: Breaking Barriers since 1947.
“We embrace a culture of innovation and dare to break barriers,” said U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein. “It should come as no surprise that Airmen are known for taking challenges and turning them into opportunities … quite simply, it’s in our DNA. If you say something can’t be done, there’s a good chance an Airman is doing it.”
Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) is the world’s largest military air show, held annually over the third weekend in July, usually at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, England in support of The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust. The show typically attracts a total of 150,000 to 160,000 spectators over the weekend.
The first Air Tattoo was staged at North Weald Airfield in Essex in 1971, with just over 100 aircraft taking part.
The event has had a number of air show firsts, including the first display and landing of the B-2A Spirit stealth bomber outside the U.S. during the 1997 “50 Years of the USAF” event and in 2008 the first landing of the Lockheed F-22 Raptor in Europe.
Source: U.S. European Command