LANGKAWI, Malaysia --- Assets from the U.S. Navy and Air Force are on display at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition 2017, March 21-25.
Founded in 1991, LIMA is a biennial event which has become a premier destination for aerospace and maritime manufacturers. The U.S. last participated in LIMA in 2015.
"LIMA is a tremendous opportunity for the United States military to engage with counterparts in southeast Asia and to showcase our capabilities and assets," said U.S Ambassador to Malaysia, Kamala Shirin Lakhdir. "It is also an opportunity for U.S. companies to expand their markets in southeast Asia. The strong U.S. presence at LIMA this year demonstrates our increased engagement with Malaysia and our commitment to the region."
U.S. Navy assets featured at LIMA include littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) and embarked MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter and two MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned helicopters.
Additionally, two F/A 18F Super Hornets from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102, and one P-8A Poseidon from Patrol Squadron (VP) 10 will be on display throughout the exhibition.
Vice Adm. Joseph P. Aucoin, commander, U.S. 7th Fleet, talked about the significance of U.S. participation and how exhibitions like LIMA contribute to regional security.
"This exhibition is important and allows me to meet with my counterparts from ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries and our Malaysian hosts to discuss the shared maritime threats in the region," he said. "This exhibition showcases new technologies and hardware that could be a solution to address the security challenges that we all face."
The U.S. Air Force featured static displays and aerial demonstrations of a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 141st Air Refueling Wing of the Washington Air National Guard, a MQ-1B Predator from the 147th Air Reconnaissance Wing of the Texas Air National Guard, and a B-1B Lancer from the 7th Bomb Wing, 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron, currently deployed to Guam.
"The United States Air Force and the Washington National Guard are honored to participate in LIMA 2017," said Brig. Gen. John Tuohy, commander, Washington Air National Guard. "We look forward to building upon our strong foundation of cooperation and trust, and to further enhance our mutual interests through the state partnership program."
More than 150 U.S. service members will participate in LIMA 17 with approximately 150 Navy Sailors from Pacific Fleet and approximately 40 Air Force Airmen assigned to Pacific Air Forces.
Through participation in air shows and other regional events, the United States is able to demonstrate its commitment to the security of the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, promote the standardization and interoperability of equipment, and display capabilities critical to the success of current and future military operations.
U.S. 7th Fleet conducts forward-deployed naval operations in support of U.S. national interests in the Indo-Asia-Pacific area of operations. As the U.S. Navy's largest numbered fleet, 7th Fleet interacts with 35 other maritime nations to build maritime partnerships which foster maritime security, promote stability and prevent conflict.