Air Forces Southern officials are hoping that the upcoming FIDAE air show in Santiago, Chile, and subsequent military exercises with the Chilean Air Force will strengthen the bilateral relationship. Roughly 20 aircraft and 200 personnel are traveling to the South American nation, the Arizona Daily Star reported March 26. The air show starts this weekend, with US platforms such as the C-17, F-15, KC-135, and MQ-1 on display. After it, Air Force F-15 and F-16 fighters and B-1 bombers will practice dogfighting against Chilean F-16s, and combat search and rescue crews will train alongside the Chileans, said Lt. Col Dan Pence, who oversees the training for 12th Air Force at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. Several tankers will also train down there, he said. And, USAF airmen will tour Chile’s air force academy and visit children’s hospitals, AFSOUTH said.
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.