DOD Acquisition Boss Pulls Out of Singapore Airshow, USAF Presence Stays

The Pentagon’s top weapons buyer and several aerospace corporations have pulled out of the Singapore Air Show as concerns about the new coronavirus spread, though U.S. Air Force demonstration teams, Airmen, and other aircraft will still attend.

Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, will not attend the airshow, scheduled to run from Feb. 11-16, due to “extenuating circumstances,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrews said.

“Ms. Lord spoke with her Singapore counterpart Mr. Joseph Leong, Singapore’s Permanent Secretary [Defence Development], and personally wished him a successful airshow,” Andrews said.

Multiple companies, including Gulfstream and Textron Aviation from the U.S. and Bombardier from Canada, also have confirmed they will not attend the yearly air show, according to a press release from the event.

Air show officials said Feb. 7 it is proceeding with additional safety measures, including enhanced cleaning and trash management, plus doctors and medics on scene for the event.

The U.S. Air Force is sending a large contingent of aircraft and personnel, including Air Combat Command’s F-22 aerial demonstration team from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, according to Pacific Air Forces.

Other U.S. participants are:

  • A C-17 from the 15th Wing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.
  • F-22s from the 154th Wing at Hickam.
  • An E-3 Sentry from the 18th Wing at Kadena Air Base, Japan.
  • F-16 aerial demonstration team from the 35th Fighter Wing at Misawa Air Base, Japan.
  • A B-52 from the 20th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron deployed to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.
  • An MQ-9 Reaper from the 432nd Wing at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.
  • An RQ-4 Global Hawk from the 319th Reconnaissance Wing at Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota.
  • A KC-135 from the 507th Air Refueling Wing at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma
  • Marine Forces Pacific’s F-35B aerial demonstration team from Attack Squadron (VMFA) 121, Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan.
  • An MV-22B Osprey from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Japan.
  • An AH-1Z Viper from Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 369, MAG-36, 1st MAW from MCAS Futenma.
  • A UH-1Y Venom from HMLA 369, MAG-36, 1st MAW, MCAS Futenma, Japan
  • An RQ-21 Blackjack from Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron (VMU) 3, MAG-24, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Base Kaneohe, Hawaii.
  • A P-8 Poseidon from Patrol Squadron Ten (VP-10), Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida.
  • EF-18 Growlers from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA)-195 at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan
  • An E-2D Advanced Hawkeye from Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW)-125, NAS Norfolk, Virginia