JEBEL ALI, United Arab Emirates -- Sailors and Marines aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) hosted a reception for the Dubai Airshow Nov. 17, during a port visit to Jebel Ali.
The reception, attended by approximately 750 guests, marked the opening of the 2013 Dubai Airshow and is considered by many to be the premier aviation and air industry event in the Middle East region.
Distinguished guests included the Honorable Michael Corbin, U.S. Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates; His Excellency Maj. Gen. Khalifa Mohamed al Rumaithi, United Arab Emirates's assistant undersecretary for policy & strategic affairs; the Honorable Susan Ziadeh, United States Ambassador to Qatar; and Vice Adm. John Miller, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, U.S. 5th Fleet, Combined Maritime Forces.
"When considering the military instruments of air power and power projection, an aircraft carrier is the dominant platform for such power," said Capt. Bob Roth, Harry S. Truman's commanding officer. "I'm very proud that Truman was able to host the opening reception, it was a true honor. I think it was great for our distinguished guests to see and talk to the Sailors and Marines who provide such a great tool of diplomacy and combat power. Likewise, I think our young men and women enjoyed being able to share their stories firsthand with some of the world's military leaders and leading industry experts."
Many guests were able to tour the ship during the reception and the days following, including His Highness Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashed al Maktoum, son of United Arab Emirates's vice-president; U.S. Consul General Rob Waller, and United Arab Emirates's undersecretary to the Ministry of Education.
"The reception was a huge success," said Rear Adm. Kevin Sweeney, commander, Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HST CSG). "It was amazing to see such a diverse group of military and civilian leaders alongside some of the best and brightest in the aviation industry. Events like the Dubai Airshow help strengthen our military-to-military relationships with our regional partners and our presence reinforced our commitment to security in the region."
The Seahawks of Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 126 manned an E-2C Hawkeye on the tarmac throughout the air show, putting the airframe and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3 on display for some of the world's top military aviation officials, civilian aviation executives and defense contractors.
"Overall, it was a very positive experience for our aircrew," said Lt. Cmdr. Eddy Depuy, VAW-126 safety officer. "It was a great opportunity to interface with fellow aviators from around the world. I'm glad we had the chance to represent the strike group."
According to Sweeney, the air show was a great opportunity for the U.S. military to show what it can do while reinforcing ties with our allies in the region.
"Our strike group is operating in this part of the world to help keep waters safe for all who operate in them while building trust and confidence with our partners," said Sweeney. "Participating in the air show was a great way to show the world who we are, what the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group can do, and what the U.S. Navy is all about."
Harry S. Truman, flagship for HST CSG, is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, supporting theater security cooperation efforts and supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.