UNITED States military aircraft will be out in force at this summer’s Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.
The Air Tattoo, which takes place on July 16-17, traditionally displays the largest range of US aircraft in the UK and this year will see around 18 fast jets, transport and specialist aircraft as well as helicopters touching down at the Cotswolds airfield.
Among those taking part are two F-16 multi-role fighters and two A-10C Thunderbolt IIs from 52 Fighter Wing at RAF Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany; a giant C-5B Galaxy from the 312th Airlift Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, California and a B-52H bomber from the 5th Bomb Wing at Minot Air Base, North Dakota. Also participating in this summer’s airshow will be three US Air Force Special Operations aircraft: an MC-130E Combat Talon from Elgin Air Force Base in Florida and an MC-130H Combat Talon II and MC 130P Combat Shadow based at RAF Mildenhall. All three aircraft have the capability to deliver troops and supplies into hostile territory as well as carrying our low-level refuelling missions.
Other USAF aircraft taking part include an RC-135 from the 38th Reconnaissance Squadron, based in Nebraska and two F-15s and an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter from RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk. The primary mission of the HH-60G is to recover personnel from war zones. The US Marine Corps will be represented by a KC-130T refuelling aircraft from Fort Worth in Texas.
The US Navy will be sending a P-3C Orion from the Maritime Patrol Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) and a Mercury E-6B command and control aircraft for static display. The FRS provides flying training to naval aviators and naval flight officers prior to them joining the fleet whilst the Oklahoma-based Mercury E-6B, provides command and control communications. Both are for static display.
Air Tattoo Deputy Director of Air Ops Rob Windsor said he was delighted that once again the US military felt able to support the Air Tattoo.
He said: “The US Air Force, US Marine Corps and US Navy rarely display in the UK in such numbers and thanks to them the Air Tattoo has become known as the place in Europe to come each year to see many of their assets. We are hugely grateful.”
This summer’s Air Tattoo will be marking its 40th anniversary and hosting a gathering of specially-decorated ‘Tiger’ aircraft from the NATO Tiger Association. ‘Tiger’ aircraft come from NATO squadrons that have a Tiger or Big Cat in their emblem and their association marks its 50th anniversary in 2011. The ‘operational’ spotlight STAR 11 will focus on aircraft and equipment involved in the roles of Strike and Reconnaissance.
Tickets are available by visiting www.airtattoo.com or calling 0800 107 1940. All tickets must be purchased in advance. All accompanied under-16s go free.