More than 60 US service members from US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa gathered this week in Germany for the 2014 Berlin Air Show. The six-day air show kicked off May 20 with an opening ceremony and attendance from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and USAFE-AFAFRICA Vice Commander Lt. Gen. Noel Jones, states a May 21 release. “We have a huge influential and strategic partnership out here and it’s great to be a part of this group of individuals,” said Col. Robert Webb, deputy director of the command’s plans, programs, and analysis. “The US’s presence at [the air show] this year demonstrates a commitment to interoperability with allies and the US defense industry’s state-of-the-art capabilities that is vital for the support and protection of national security interests throughout Europe and other regions,” states the release. Nine US aircraft will be on display during the show, including the C-17 Globemaster III Spirit of Berlin, which flew in from JB Charleston, S.C., for the event, according to the release. (See “C-17 on Display at Berlin Air Show.”)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.