RAF100 at Offutt AFB, Nebraska
Personnel from 51 and 54 squadrons, temporarily assigned to Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, USA, took part in an RAF100/USAF 70 event at the SAC (Strategic Air Command) Museum in Nebraska on Saturday 7th April.
This event was part of the British Embassy’s RAF100 events in the USA and was organised by our Rivet Joint Exchange Officer in Offutt AFB in conjunction with personnel from Offutt AFB and the support of the museum’s leadership.
The SAC Museum’s atrium provided an ideal space for the teams from the Rivet Joint program to come together to commemorate, celebrate and inspire the community local to Offutt and the wider Omaha area. The museum is a bustling tourist attraction which has dozens of aircraft on display including U-2, B-52, SR-71 and the venerable Vulcan. The event was opened by a fly past from an USAF RC-135 Rivet Joint and was followed by speeches given by Colonel Manion, Commander 55th Wing, Air Commodore Linter, British Air Attaché to the USA, and Congressman Bacon. These three speeches followed a celebratory theme about our shared history: the air base was named after Lt Jarvis Offutt, an US Army pilot, killed in service with 56 Squadron in World War One; the Strategic Command, based at Offutt AFB, has provided a direct tangible link between our air forces which endured throughout the Cold War; and the integrated co-manning approach to the Rivet Joint program.
A highlight of the day was a combined history presentation given in the museum’s lecture hall. Sqn Ldr Adrian and Major Noah, pilots on the 338th Combat Training Squadron (equivalent to a RAF Operational Conversion Unit) gave an insightful summary of the shared history of our two services.
There were several interactive stands and hundreds of visitors were able to ask questions of the personnel from the local airbase as well as those from 51 and 54 squadrons. One interesting stand was one focussing on Hugh the Bear and his travels around the USA. Hugh’s travels are shared by the Embassy on social media streams and have included flights with the Red Arrows, the F-35 and an USAF Rivet Joint (with our Exchange Officer).
If you would like to get involved with RAF Waddington’s local events please get in touch with the local team via: WAD-RAF100@mod.gov.uk