Support our mission
Spectators sitting on the wing of a Royal Air Force aircraft view a performance of aerobatic moves during the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford.

Spectators sitting on the wing of a Royal Air Force aircraft view a performance of aerobatic moves during the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford. (Sean Kimmons / S&S)

RAF FAIRFORD — Two Pakistani crew members of a C-130B Hercules aircraft walked up to Capt. Casper Nathe, who stood in front of his F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet on display at last weekend’s Royal International Air Tattoo.

The Pakistanis were exchanging unit patches with other crewmembers at the tattoo, and Nathe’s 494th Fighter Squadron patch caught their interest.

Nathe, a weapon systems officer for the RAF Lakenheath-based unit, was a little hesitant at first since it was the only patch he brought to the massive air show. But after a little convincing from the Pakistanis, who were making their debut at the show, Nathe gave up his patch.

Seconds later, Nathe signed an autograph for a British man who was collecting signatures of all the fighter jet crews represented at the weekend show.

“I’m really enjoying it,” Nathe said about the extra attention he was receiving.

The Tampa, Fla., native wasn’t the only England-based crewmember on the show’s huge static display grounds.

Senior Airman Thomas Nance, a boom operator for a KC-135R Stratotanker based at RAF Mildenhall, sat under the shade created by one of the refueling aircraft’s wings and answered questions from spectators.

“They ask us about the bombs that we don’t have,” he said. “Sometimes I get tough questions.”

As part of the flying performances during each day of the show, an F-15C Eagle fighter jet from the 493rd Fighter Squadron at RAF Lakenheath took to the sky and flew beside a World War II-era P-51 Mustang fighter in a heritage flight.

Other American aircraft from England-based units on static display included an MC-130H Combat Talon II, MC-130P Combat Shadow and a MH-53M Pave Low III from the 352nd Special Operations Group at RAF Mildenhall.


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up