NEWS | July 18, 2017

315 AW celebrates 70 years of airpower in the U.K.

By Maj. Wayne Capps 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

As jets roared above, thousands of foreign visitors talked with members of the 315th Airlift Wing about their mission and love for aviation.

A combined Reserve crew from all three 315 AW flying squadrons took part in the three-day Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford, U.K. this weekend.

The theme for this year’s airshow celebrates the 70th anniversary of the United States Air Force and its partnership with the Royal Air Force. “The U.S. and U.K. have a long history of working together and this show was just another example of that,” said Lt. Col. Craig Bartosh, aircraft commander for the mission and Airlift Squadron pilot.

Over the three days, crew members talked with the public, posed for photos and gave tours of the C-17 Globemaster III.

“I really love talking to everyone, especially the children,” said Maj. Brad Foster, a pilot from the 300 AS who was on the crew. “That’s actually how I became a pilot. When I was little, my grandfather took me to an airshow and I have wanted to fly ever since,” he said.

According to show organizers, the Royal International Air Tattoo is the largest airshow in the U.K. and the largest military airshow in the world, featuring aircraft from around the globe.

“I think it is important to open the doors of our aircraft and show the public what we do,” said Capt. Kyle Mings, one of the pilots from the 317 AS. “I also think it’s important for us to spend time with our international aviation colleagues and get to know them on a personal level,” he said.

The Air Tattoo has been apart of the U.S. Air Force since 1972, when the Americans hosted the show at RAF Greenham Common. The Air Tattoo them moved to its current home at RAF Fairford in the 1980’s.