Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016: Boeing Centennial Plaza - U.S. Customs and Border Protection Orion and Blackhawk

Fred Harl and Carmelo Turdo Centennial Plaza at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 played host to two aircraft from the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine - Lockheed P-3B Orion and Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk.  The aircraft were part of a large contingent of assets on display (most of them in the U.S. government exhibit hangar that will be featured in a future post) that included other aircraft and patrol boats.

The Lockheed P-3B Orion Airborne Early Warning (AEW) is one of over a dozen ex-Australian Air Force and U.S. Navy aircraft that provide surveillance of potential air, land and sea smuggling routes.  Many have gone through the recent Service Life Extension Program, an extensive inspection and rebuild process that produces essentially new aircraft life.  The crew of eight flies missions of up to 10 hours from bases in NAS Jacksonville, FL and NAS Corpus Christi, TX.  Visitors met with crew members and at times took shelter underneath the wings during the midweek rains.

Also on static display (and later flown in the airshow) was the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Sikorsky UH-60 Blackhawk.  The Blackhawk's missions include agent insertion, disaster relief and interdiction of threats over land and water.  Along with the flight crew, the K9 handlers and their charges also interacted with visitors. 

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