AIR FORCE ACADEMY

F-22 Raptor Demo Team rockets through FIDAE

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Story by SrA Kaylee Dubois on 04/19/2018
U.S. Air Force members from the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team, based out of Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, performed at Feria Internacional del Aire y del Espacio air and trade show in Santiago, Chile April 2-7, 2018.

Throughout the week, the team showcased the jet's air superiority, interacted with the crowd and reinforced the importance of the relationship between Chile and the U.S.

As the second largest aerospace, defense and security exhibition in Latin America, the fair, held every two years, hosted 46 different countries and 580 exhibiting companies. Approximately 120,000 people attended FIDAE during the open public days.

"(FIDAE) is just one more example of the globalization of what everyone is doing in the aerospace industry all around the world, and of the confidence and the trust we have all together," said Chilean Air Force Capt. Ismael Barrenechea, FIDAE air operations manager. "We have very great relationship with the U.S. Air Force and FIDAE is a great platform to grow our friendship."

In his demonstrations, U.S. Air Force Maj. Paul "Loco" Lopez, F-22 Raptor Demo Team commander and pilot, shows spectators the fifth-generation multirole fighter's thrust vectoring, supercruise, stealth, maneuverability and weapons load features through precision aerial maneuvers.

"Aside from showcasing the fifth-generation aircraft, we are also here to show the Chilean Air Force that we are an important ally and we are here to support them for future endeavors," said Tech. Sgt. Yamil Reyes Sanchez, F-22 Raptor Demo Team chief. "Having the ability to speak Spanish gave me the chance to truly interact with Chilean civilians and military alike, and they were all very welcoming and friendly."

Accompanying the demo team was a multitude of U.S. aircraft, as well as the U.S. Air Force Academy Wings of Blue parachute team. Airmen assigned to each aircraft helped to educate the Chilean people of the importance of each aircraft's mission capabilities and day-to-day operations.

"It just goes to show how well Airmen work as a team, regardless what base or part of the country we come from," said Sanchez. "No matter where we are, we display teamwork and excellence in all we do."

The 13-member F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team will travel internationally once more this season, heading to Cold Lake Air Base in Alberta, Canada in July 21-22. Until then, the team will continue to showcase American air power with 20 state-side shows left in the season.

"We just want to say thank you to the Chileans for having us in Santiago," said Reye Sanchez. "We had a great time and we look forward to going back there again in the future."

For more information about the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team or their show schedule, visit http://www.acc.af.mil/Home/Aerial-Events/F-22A-Demo-Team/.

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