Contact Us Press Releases
US Air Force Participates in Marrakech Aeroexpo, Strengthens Bonds
U.S. Air Forces Africa participated in the third biennial Marrakech Aeroexpo in Marrakech, Morocco, April 4-7, 2012, to strengthen the partnerships with Morocco and more than 15 other participating nations.<br />
MARRAKECH, Morocco - A Royal Moroccan Air Force CL-415 performs for a crowd during the opening ceremonies at the Marrakech Aeroexpo, April 4, 2012. U.S. Air Forces Africa participated in the third biennial Aeroexpo Marrekech to strengthen the partnerships with the nations involved and show commitment to security and stability in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Wilson)
1 photo: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 1: MARRAKECH, Morocco - A Royal Moroccan Air Force CL-415 performs for a crowd during the opening ceremonies at the Marrakech Aeroexpo, April 4, 2012. U.S. Air Forces Africa participated in the third biennial Aeroexpo Marrekech to strengthen the partnerships with the nations involved and show commitment to security and stability in the region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Benjamin Wilson) Download full-resolution version
U.S. Air Forces Africa participated in the third biennial Marrakech Aeroexpo in Marrakech, Morocco, April 4-7, 2012, to strengthen the partnerships with Morocco and more than 15 other participating nations.



Approximately 400 exhibitors from the civil and military aviation communities had the opportunity to display their particular capabilities and technology to 50,000 visitors during the exposition.



With so many participants and visitors in attendance, planning for the expo was a big task to tackle.



"We started planning one-and-a-half years in advance," said Lieutenant Colonel Stephen daSilva, 17th Air Force lead planner for the event. "It was a little easier this year because of the experience I gained planning the 2010 trade show in Marrakech and a similar one in South Africa, but it is always a challenge."



All that preparation goes a long way to building bonds with African nations.



"The U.S. Air Force takes part in air and trade shows like this one to showcase Air Force people and resources, and to enhance our key African partnerships," said Major General Margaret Woodward, 17th Air Force commander.



Along with almost 100 airmen present for the show, the key resources showcased during this year's event include five different airframes: the F-15 Eagle, C-130J Super Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III, KC-135 Stratotanker and a U.S. Army UH-72A Lakota.



Industry professionals and the general public will have a chance to view these aircraft up close and ask questions to the airmen who maintain and operate the planes during the show; however, the Air Force's presence at the expo is more than just an opportunity to exhibit our capabilities to the Moroccan people.



"Since the creation of U.S. Air Forces Africa in 2008, we have partnered with Morocco, and many of the other African nations represented here, on everything from aircraft maintenance to air traffic control," Woodward said. "This is a different type of military engagement celebrating aviation and highlighting the ties that bind airmen together."



For this reason, the U.S. Air Force has participated in all three Marrakech Aeroexpos as well as similar events throughout Africa and the Mediterranean regions.



"Participation in these events is a testimony to the partnerships we have built over the recent years," said daSilva. "Working together with our partner nations in Africa not only promotes interoperability, but it shows our commitment to the international security and stability in the region."



This multilateral engagement and the interaction between all the militaries involved is just one of many occasions in the upcoming year for the United States to strengthen its bonds in the region and continue developing its partnership with nations like Morocco.



"We remain committed to strengthening our relationships with our African partners and expanding participation in programs and initiatives working toward regional security and stability," Woodward said.

PARTNERSHIPS OPERATIONS READINESS