Open house highlights fighter wing mission

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Spectators take photos of an A10 Thunderbolt II from the 81st Fighter Squadron as it undergoes maintenance before a capabilities demonstration at the Spangdahlem Air Base Open House 2011 here July 31. About 40,000 people  visited the base to view aircraft and learn about the mission capabilities of the 52nd Fighter Wing and NATO partners. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nick Wilson)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Spectators take photos of an A10 Thunderbolt II from the 81st Fighter Squadron as it undergoes maintenance before a capabilities demonstration at the Spangdahlem Air Base Open House 2011 here July 31. About 40,000 people visited the base to view aircraft and learn about the mission capabilities of the 52nd Fighter Wing and NATO partners. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nick Wilson)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – An A-10 Thunderbolt II, bottom, flies alongside an F-16 Fighting Falcon during a demonstration at the Spangdahlem Air Base Open House here July 31. The 52nd Fighter Wing welcomed about 40,000 visitors from across Europe who visited the base and learned about daily operations. (U.S Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Pomeroy)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – An A-10 Thunderbolt II, bottom, flies alongside an F-16 Fighting Falcon during a demonstration at the Spangdahlem Air Base Open House here July 31. The 52nd Fighter Wing welcomed about 40,000 visitors from across Europe who visited the base and learned about daily operations. (U.S Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Jonathan Pomeroy)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- Spectators watch a demonstration of an A-10 Thunderbolt II and an F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 52nd Fighter Wing at the Spangdahlem Air Base Open House 2011 here July 30. The base invited citizens from the local area to visit the base to view aircraft and mission capabilities of the 52nd FW and NATO partners. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- Spectators watch a demonstration of an A-10 Thunderbolt II and an F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 52nd Fighter Wing at the Spangdahlem Air Base Open House 2011 here July 30. The base invited citizens from the local area to visit the base to view aircraft and mission capabilities of the 52nd FW and NATO partners. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Visitors enjoy the displays at the Spangdahlem Air Base Open House here July 31. The 52nd Fighter Wing welcomed about 40,000 visitors from across Europe who visited the base and learned about daily operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Dillon Davis)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany – Visitors enjoy the displays at the Spangdahlem Air Base Open House here July 31. The 52nd Fighter Wing welcomed about 40,000 visitors from across Europe who visited the base and learned about daily operations. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Dillon Davis)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 480th Fighter Squadron flies during a demonstration at the Spangdahlem Air Base Open House 2011 here July 31. The base welcomed about 40,000 people from the local area July 30-31 to view aircraft and mission capabilities of the 52nd Fighter Wing and NATO partners. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the 480th Fighter Squadron flies during a demonstration at the Spangdahlem Air Base Open House 2011 here July 31. The base welcomed about 40,000 people from the local area July 30-31 to view aircraft and mission capabilities of the 52nd Fighter Wing and NATO partners. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Nathanael Callon)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany -- Spangdahlem Air Base opened its doors to the public July 30 - 31 to demonstrate the military capabilities of the 52nd Fighter Wing and its NATO partners during the Spangdahlem Open House 2011 here.

Visitors were able to see various fighter aircraft first-hand, to include the F-16 Fighting Falcon and A-10 Thunderbolt II, both assigned to Spangdahlem.

"I think this is a great opportunity to come up-close and see the planes in person," said Andre Vos, who travelled from the Netherlands to attend the event.

In addition to aircraft displays, there were numerous capabilities demonstrations that highlighted the combat firepower of the 52nd FW.

The F-16 aerial demonstration included three high-speed passes, a low approach and a max power unrestricted climb.

"We see the planes fly from time to time, but being able to hear the engines roar above is amazing," Vos said.

The open house drew about 40,000 visitors over the weekend.

"The best part of the open house is that we let the local community see what we do on a regular basis," said Maj. Scott Sieting, 52nd Operations Group, who flew an F-16 during one of the demonstrations. "This way we are able to build a bond that will continue to foster a strong relationship in the future."