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    New York National Guard airshow participate a big hit with South African students

    New York National Guard Airmen talk to students at Africa Aerospace and Defense Airshow

    Photo By Maj. Jean Kratzer | New York Air National Guard Tech Sgt. Ken Martini (right) speaks to students about the...... read more read more



    Story by Capt. Jean Kratzer 

    New York National Guard

    WATERKLOOF AIR FORCE BASE, PRETORIA, South Africa – The New York National Guard contingent at Africa’s largest air show here has been popular with student groups touring the event.

    “I have been to other airshows in my military career, and the major difference is here in South Africa we have had the opportunity to work with several different schools throughout the country,” said New York Air National Guard Master Sgt. Jerry Kruz, a loadmaster assigned to the 106th Rescue Wing.

    “The students are asking great questions and are fascinated by what we do, we are so happy to have the opportunity to work with them and they speak so highly of the U.S. and our military forces,” Kruz added.
    Thirty-four members of the New York National Guard are part of the 100-person U.S. military contingent at the 2016 Africa Aerospace & Defense Exposition.

    The New York National Guard delegation is displaying three aircraft:

    • A remotely piloted MQ-9 Reaper operated by the 174th Attack Wing at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse;
    • An HC-130 search and rescue aircraft operated by the 106th Rescue Wing based at Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach on Long Island;
    And a C-17 Globemaster III strategic airlifter flown by Airman assigned to the 105th Airlift Wing at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, N.Y.

    “So many of the students were fascinated by our aircraft and want to come to America and fly. The students have all been so positive, respectful and responsive to our Airmen giving them tours of the aircraft,” said 1st. Lt. Toby Vanholtz, an HC-130 navigator, who flies with the New York Air National Guard but lives in Pensacola, Florida.

    “It’s great having the aircraft here and being able to provide a hands on experience with the students, since many of these kids have never seen this aircraft,” said Tech Sgt. Ken Martini, a member of the 105th Wing who lives in Newburgh.

    During the trade days at the air show, the exhibit is closed to the public, but South African Students who are part of the nation’s Youth Development Program are invited to attend.

    The Youth Development Program is designed to improve the educational and economic opportunities for South African teenagers.

    The African Aerospace & Defense Exposition, held every two years, features civilian and military aircraft and vehicles from 35 different countries; with both flying and static displays from some of the biggest names in aviation. The event combines a trade show with an air show open to the public.

    The New York National Guard participates in training and regular exchanges with the South African military as part of the National Guard’s State Partnership Program which pairs state National Guards with the militaries of developing or former Soviet bloc nations.

    The New York National Guard has regularly participated in this air show since 2004.



    Date Taken: 09.16.2016
    Date Posted: 09.16.2016 15:03
    Story ID: 209857
    Location: PRETORIA , ZA
    Hometown: NEWBURGH, NY, US
    Hometown: SYRACUSE, NY, US

    Web Views: 175
    Downloads: 0