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 people 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 Singapore International Airshow 2014 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 we as 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 show-goers were given 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, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force. Community members and visitors from across the region lined up for the chance to walk through the aircraft and taken pictures with the Marines in the cockpits.
Lance Cpl. Mario J. Peña, a crew master-in-training with VMGR-152 spoke to many curious show-goers, answering their questions and posing with them for photos.
“Public days like this are important to the Marine Corps and our unit (because it) lets them know what we’re doing (in the Asia-Pacific region),” said Peña. “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 who had never seen an Osprey before the chance to watch it fly and prove 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 break-turns and maneuvers just to show ability of the aircraft to maneuver in and around the airshow.”
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 take-offs and landings,” said Veerapa, who was at the airshow with his father and has never missed an airshow back in Australia. “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 as well as 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.”