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Spirit of Berlin
Visitors line up to see the C-17 Globemaster III "Spirit of Berlin" from Joint Base Charleston, S.C., during the ILA 2010 Berlin International Aerospace Exhibition and Conferences June 9 at the Berlin-Schoenefeld Airport. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes)
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'Spirit of Berlin' makes presence felt at air show

Posted 6/14/2010   Updated 6/14/2010 Email story   Print story


by Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
31st Fighter Wing Public Affairs

6/14/2010 - BERLIN -- The Air Force showed off its newest, most flexible cargo aircraft during the ILA 2010 Berlin International Aerospace Exhibition and Conferences from June 8 to 13.

The C-17 Globemaster III was one of the Air Force's main attractions during the Berlin Air Show, one of the premier events of its type in the world, boasting 1,153 exhibitors from 47 countries, including the United States.

"We are excited to be here," said Maj. Matthew Tinker, 17th Airlift Squadron mission commander and instructor pilot from Joint Base Charleston, S.C. "It's fun to work with the German military. They're great people, cooperative and very friendly. It is a pleasure to show off our airplane."

Thirteen people flew in the C-17 named "Spirit of Berlin" to showcase the aircraft's capabilities.

The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. The aircraft can perform tactical airlift, aerial delivery missions and can also transport litters and ambulatory care patients during aeromedical evacuations.

"We just answer their questions and describe the aircraft system," Major Tinker said. "It's fun watching everyone and see their wide-eye look in their face. They are just amazed on how big the aircraft is and how much it can carry."

According to Capt. Lloyd Richardson, 16th Airlift Squadron director of staff and aircraft commander, the crew's participation here is a chance to highlight the aircraft.

"This is a unique opportunity," Captain Richardson said. "We are humbled to be chosen. What a wonderful opportunity to show off the U.S. Air Force's air power and to bolster relations with such a prominent NATO ally."

Major Tinker said it takes a lot of planning to carry out this type of mission, such as taking the crew and the right equipment, but it all wouldn't be made possible without the team working together.

"The teamwork is excellent," he said. "I'm amazed that even in difficult circumstances, they get things done. Everybody is happy to accommodate the visitors. The aircrew works well together."

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