Saturday, April 22, 2017

Patrouille de France Jet Demonstration Team Makes Overnight Fuel Stop at Scott AFB, IL

By Carmelo Turdo
The French Air Force's official jet demonstration team, Patrouille de France, arrived at Scott AFB on Wednesday afternoon for an overnight refueling stop for the team's Alpha Jets and their support aircraft, the Airbus A400.  Although the date was on the official U.S. Tour schedule, it was not a public event.  Four members of the local aviation media, including The Aero Experience, were present to capture the arrival and parking of the team's aircraft.  The Patrouille de France has a limited number of engagements in the U.S. this spring, and a visit to the Midwest, however brief, was a significant development.  

The Aero Experience coverage of the Patrouille de France arrival was made possible by the Scott AFB Command and Public Affairs staff who graciously accommodated our request.  Building on our earlier coverage of the Scott AFB Centennial Kickoff event in January, we were eager to produce another series of stories touting the contribution that Scott AFB makes to the current armed forces structure and also to the local economy.  The 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs Officer, Mr. Sean Clements, arranged for access to record the team's arrival, and as a great addition, included a personal briefing by 375th Operations Support Squadron Commander, Lt. Colonel Matthew Getty.  Colonel Getty's briefing will be the topic of a future story.  All this would not be possible without the support of the 375th Air Mobility Wing Commander, Colonel Laura Lenderman.  The media representatives, Joe Gurney, Larry Titchenal, Dave Kuenzel and Carmelo Turdo are seen pictured here with Lt. Colonel Getty.


As with covering any military operation, there are many moving parts and choices to be made after reaching the operations base.  Our media group had to decide whether to remain at Scott AFB to view the taxi and parking of the aircraft or go to Mid America Airport and view the landing on that runway.  Larry Titchenal took the Mid America Airport option while the rest stayed on the base.  The result is better coverage, as we have, with Larry Titchenal's permission, included the first eight of his photos here as the team's Alpha Jets landed and the his first three photos of the Airbus A400 Atlas as it landed.  The team landed in groups of two, four and four prior to the A400 landing.  The A400 taxied in a circle, giving a variety of angles and lighting effects to make our coverage even more enjoyable. 

The Aero Experience and the media members involved in the arrival coverage on Wednesday again thank the 375th Air Mobility wing Command and Public Affairs staff for providing this opportunity to celebrate Midwest Aviation.  Check back soon for our interview with Lt. Colonel Getty coming soon.

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