The New York National Guard will send two Air National Guard cargo aircraft, an Army National Guard unmanned aerial vehicle, and 38 Soldiers and Airmen to Africa’s largest defence exhibition which begins on 19 September outside Pretoria.
A C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifter from the 105th Airlift Wing, based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, N.Y., and an LC-130 tactical airlifter from the 109th Airlift Wing, located at Stratton Air National Guard Base in Scotia, N.Y., will be the centerpiece of New York’s contribution to the African Aerospace and Defence Air Show.
The LC-130 is the largest aircraft in the world which can land on runways or on ice and snow using skis or wheels.
New York Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which is headquartered in Syracuse, will be bringing an RQ-7 Shadow unmanned aerial vehicle along as part of the United States display at the air show.
The Shadow is a small 185 pound unmanned aerial vehicle with a 20 foot wingspan used for tactical reconnaissance by United States Army brigades.
The Soldiers who fly the Shadow are based at the Patriot Way Armory in Rochester, N.Y.
The event is a combination trade show and air show which is held every two years at South Africa’s Air Force Base Waterkloof outside Pretoria.
The first three days of the five day event are a trade show open to defense and aerospace officials, while the last two days are an air show open to the public.
“The airshow and exposition is the largest such show on the African continent and we in the New York National Guard are both excited and proud to be invited to participate,” said Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Timothy LaBarge, director of Joint Staff for the New York National Guard. LaBarge will be leading the New York National Guard contingent at the show.
The South African National Defence Force and the New York National Guard have a long-standing training and exchange relationship as part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program.
New York has been sending personnel and Aircraft to the biannual event since 2004.
“The 16,000 men and women of the New York National Guard will be represented by serve members from both the Army and Air, as well as by our iconic C-17 and LC-130 aircraft and we thank our friends in South Africa for their continued friendship and engagement,” LaBarge said.
A KC-135 Stratotanker air-to-air refueling plane from the 100th Airlift Wing based at RAF Mildenhall in the United Kingdom, and a C-130J “Super Hercules” from the 86th Airlift Wing from Ramstein Air Base, Germany, will also be part of the United States contingent at the Air Show.
The C-17 is used to fly supplies and troops and is one of the world’s premier transportation aircraft. The 109th Airlift Wing LC-130s are used to fly supplies to scientific installations in Antarctica and Greenland.
The New York National Guard has had a training and military exchange partnership with the South African National Defense Force through the National Guard’s State Partnership Program, since 2003.
The program links a unique component of the Department of Defense – a state’s National Guard – with the armed forces or equivalent of a partner country in a cooperative, mutually beneficial relationship.