ELLINGTON AIRPORT, Houston –
Aircrew with the 68th Airlift Squadron represented the 433rd Airlift Wing with a C-5M Super Galaxy static display at Ellington Airport Oct. 18-20 at the Wings Over Houston Airshow.
The airshow started Oct. 18 with a special show limited to an audience of physically and mentally challenged individuals and their families before the full shows Oct. 19-20.
Highlights of the show included the C-5M, a C-17 Globemaster III, several older cargo aircraft, experimental aircraft, a warbirds display, and many flying demonstrations. Each day, the airshow culminated with a performance by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.
The C-5M is the largest aircraft in the U.S. military’s inventory and one of the largest airlifters in the world.
“This is the first time since 2008 that we have one of the world’s largest transport aircraft, the C-5M on display,” said Everett “Hoot” Gibson, Wings Over Houston Airshow military czar. “The last time it was here, the public was thrilled with it. To see it first-hand and be able to walk through it and learn the capabilities is an educational experience for all.”
Airshows like this one provide an opportunity for the public to learn more about aviation and the military.
Gibson, who is a retired NASA scientist and Commemorative Air Force flight engineer and loadmaster, talked about the role of these events.
“The goal of an airshow is very clearly to let the man or woman on the street see for themselves where their tax dollars are going. The public should know what our military is doing. We have a responsibility to know where our tax dollars go, what they are used for, and see the assets that are used. They get first-hand opportunity to touch and feel the aircraft and talk to the crew. It is a great exchange of knowledge and education.”
These events encourage attendees to spend time talking with military aircrews to learn about the organizations, which is effective in building relationships.
“One great thing for the 433rd Airlift Wing is the exposure to all aspects of what we do,” said Maj. Nick Reinhardt, 68th Airlift Squadron pilot. “Not only just the mission so that people understand what we do with the C-5, how it is employed, and its capabilities, but also to really give Texans something to be proud of, and support the missions coming out of the state.”
While airshows foster outreach between the military and community, they can also be an opportunity for former military members and families to reconnect and remember their service.
“We meet veterans who directly have experience with the C-5,” Reinhardt said. “The stories they have from long ago about riding in one, or seeing one, or a family member who has a connection to the past, these are a proud legacy of something they or a family member belong to.”