Reserve Airmen airdrop Wings of Blue, Golden Knights at Air and Space Expo

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Della Creech
  • 315th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Airmen from the 300th Airlift Squadron at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina airdropped the Air Force Academy’s Wings of Blue, and the Army’s Golden Knights parachute demonstration teams, at the 2022 Air and Space Expo, Sept. 16 to18, 2022, at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.

The Joint Base Andrews Air and Space Expo is one of the largest air and space expos on the East Coast, and Airmen from the 315th Airlift Wing routinely participate in this type of event to showcase the rapid mobility of the wing’s flying squadrons to develop and deploy combat ready forces in a joint environment.

The 300 AS Reservists were responsible for several Air Mobility Command airdrops of both parachute demonstration teams from the Charleston C-17 Globemaster III thousands of feet above the expo throughout the weekend. 

Lt. Col. Matt Thurber, C-17 pilot with the 300 AS, said expos like this allow Reservists to showcase their military skills and readiness.

"Our part shows that even though most 300 AS Reservists have other civilian careers, we can still all come together and execute a high visibility mission and airdrop at one of the biggest East Coast air shows of the year," he said. 

The expo, featuring dozens of aircraft and performances drew thousands of patrons, distinguished visitors, and military families who came out to see the nation’s latest aerial military technology and capability. 

According to Cadet 1st Class Baileigh McFall, Wings of Blue member, Colorado Springs, Colorado, it’s a unique opportunity to interact with the Air Force and jump out of a C-17.

"It’s a unique opportunity to interact with the operational Air Force, and it’s inspiring to jump with the Golden Knights," said McFall. "It was nice to see past cadets from the 300 AS wearing their patches to provide that connection because representing the Air Force is an important role for all generations as well as the mentorship offered across the board that matters.”

Army Sgt. 1st Class Jesse Robbins, Golden Knights team lead, said air expos give the jump teams the opportunity to adapt and integrate.

"We’re ready to adapt our airdrops at a moment's notice, by working hand-in-hand with different aircrew operations and being able to experience jumps from the C-17," said Robbins. “Being a Golden Knight is a one-of-a-kind experience, and there is nothing like seeing the community’s faces after a jump.”

As for expo attendees, the expo gave community members the opportunity to come out and see air and space opportunities in the U.S. military.

The Abdalla family of eight came to the expo, and one of the family members is part of the Atholton High School Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps in Washington D.C. With interest in a future military medical career, the young man explored how the C-17 can be converted into a hospital in the sky, with his six sisters and mother.

“Before coming to the airshow, I thought these jets only existed in movies, but now I may join the Air Force Academy and fly too,” said the family’s 12-year-old girl.

Another of the family members said that the show was their first, but definitely not their last. 

According to the expo’s website, the expo was about bringing the community together and one way to say thank you to community members.  

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