SAKHIR AIRBASE, BAHRAIN –
U.S. Central Command aviation was on display Nov. 14-16 during the Bahrain International Airshow (BIAS) at Sakhir Airbase, Bahrain.
The three-day event included static displays of fixed wing and rotary aircraft along with aerial demonstrations by U.S. Air Force and U.S. Marine Corps pilots, highlighting the wide range of capabilities inherent in U.S. military aviation.
“The best approach to air power and air defense is a multi-lateral approach encompassing many key partner nations working together,” said Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, commander, U.S. Air Forces Central Command. “We must understand that the collective defense comes with a shared responsibility from each country to actively contribute toward the operation and sustainment of shared systems.”
Since the inception of BIAS in 2010, U.S. military support and participation has continued to enhance American partnerships in the region. U.S. participation in this event demonstrates a shared commitment to the security and stability and strengthens military-to-military relationships.
Participating U.S. aircraft included: an MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter, an MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopter, an AV-8B Harrier, two MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, two F-15E Strike Eagles, two F-16 Fighting Falcons, an F-35B Lightning II, and a B-1B Lancer.
“We are grateful to be part of BIAS and appreciative of all the support we’ve received in Bahrain,” said Capt. Mike Holoman, MV-22B aircraft commander, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. “It’s great to have the opportunity to showcase the full capabilities of Osprey during the show.”
The airshow featured international aerobatics teams from the Italian Aeronautica Militare and the United Arab Emirates Air Force, among others.
“My favorite part of the airshow has been watching the aerial demonstrations from the other foreign militaries that are here,” said Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Bryan Jenkins. “It’s interesting to see what other countries can do, how, they fly, their capabilities, their formations, and how they work together as a team.”
This is the fifth iteration of the airshow that has been supported by the Department of Defense.
BIAS 18 was preceded by the Manama Air Power Symposium, the official conference of BIAS 18, held Nov. 13.