August 9, 2010 (by SSgt. Samuel Morse) - The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a monument of technical precision, finesse and power. The roar of its afterburner draws hundreds of thousands of people to air shows throughout the world each year.
Capt. Jeff Schneider, PACAF Demonstration Team pilot, parks F-16C block 50 #92-3894 from the 14th FS at Chitose AB on August 6th, 2010. [USAF photo by SSgt. Samuel Morse]
On Aug. 8, the nine Airmen of the Pacific Air Forces F-16 Demonstration Team stationed at Misawa Air Base performed at the Chitose Air Festival to give more than 64,000 spectators a taste of American Air Power.
The team's purpose is to strengthen the U.S. relationship with countries in the Pacific region through demonstrations showing the pinnacle of the Air Force core values of integrity, service and excellence.
"Every year, the F-16 demonstration is one of the highlights in the Chitose Air Show," said Senior Master Sgt. Mototsugu Minoura, 2nd Air Wing bilateral relations NCO
The team traveled to Chitose on Aug. 6, and, in the days prior to the air festival, seized the opportunity for cultural exchange with their Japan Air Self-Defense Force counterparts. The team sampled local cuisine with JASDF pilots and leadership, sang karaoke, learned about the JASDF F-2
and attended an exhibition baseball game involving the Chitose Air Base baseball team.
"This year is the 50th anniversary of the USAF - JASDF alliance," said Captain Jeffrey Schneider, PACAF
Demonstration Team pilot. "Chitose wanted to highlight that with the PACAF Demo Team."
This alliance took center stage during an opening fly-over formation of two JASDF F-15 Eagles and an F-16 Fighting Falcon from Misawa Air Base, piloted by Lt. Col. Dylan Baumgartner.
Bad weather threatened to cancel the team's feature performance, but later in the morning, the clouds lifted enough to allow the team to perform a low-altitude maneuvering demonstration and ground show.
"Witnessing the remarkably skilled aircraft maneuvering serves as a reminder of our shared commitment to duty, honor and country," said Sergeant Minoura.
At a time when political tension can sweep newspaper headlines in other parts of Japan, Captain Schneider emphasized the importance of events such as this.
"Having the PACAF demo team at the Air Show means a lot to us," said Sergeant Minoura. "It shows the strong relationship between the JASDF and the U.S. Air Force. They're very friendly and marvelously talented. It's a rare treat for the Japanese community. We wish we could have them here more often."