Singapore Airshow showcases Marine Corps aircraft
SINGAPORE—The sun rose high in the sky, beating down upon the aircraft that sat on the asphalt. It was hot, but still, long lines of spectators formed around the U.S. Marine Corps aircraft and the crews that manned them.
The Singapore International Airshow 2014 opened to the public Feb. 15-16 at the Changi Exhibition Center in Singapore.
The international airshow brought together companies and aircraft from the aerospace community to showcase their technology and allowed the U.S. to demonstrate its strong ties with Singapore, as well as its flexible aircraft capabilities.
“These types of public events where Marines interact with the public are of tremendous value,” said Lt. Col. Larry G. Brown, commanding officer of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 262, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
“We not only show off American technology and hardware, but (the public) also gets to see the personal side by interacting with the human beings and the young men and women that make these machines work.”
The festival attendees lined up to get the opportunity to get up close and personal with an MV-22B Osprey with VMM-262 and a KC-130J Super Hercules with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152, MAG-36, 1st MAW, III MEF.
“Public days like this are important to the Marine Corps and our unit (because it) lets people know what we’re doing (in the Asia-Pacific region),” said Lance Cpl. Mario J. Peña, a crew master-in-training with VMGR-152. “For example, I’ve been telling people how we (supported) the Philippines when the typhoon hit. We were able to provide them humanitarian aid and relief, and a lot of people were surprised by that fact.”
The Osprey also performed in an aerial demonstration, giving many people a chance to see what a unique aircraft it is.
“We did some basic (Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures) maneuvers (to show) some of the versatility (that the aircraft has),” said Capt. Jason Laird, the assistant operations officer for VMM-262. “(We did) turns over a spot (and) a standard bow to show the nose-up and the nose-down characteristics of the aircraft. We also did some fast-paced, high-speed brake-turns and maneuvers to show the aircraft's (maneuverability).”
The Osprey’s flight was very impressive, according to Josh Veerapa, a 10-year-old native of Melbourne, Australia.
“(The Osprey is) so cool because the propellers are so big, and it can do vertical takeoffs and landings,” said Veerapa. “We haven’t seen the V-22 Osprey in real life. I’ve never seen one up close.”
The Singapore International Airshow 2014 has been very successful for the Osprey and the Marine Corps as a whole, according to Brown.
“We’ve showcased the capabilities of the Osprey to all of Asia at Asia’s largest airshow for the first time,” said Brown. “I think it’s been a tremendous success to us as Marines.”