Reserve bomber force leaves lasting impression

Spectators wait in line to view the interior of a B-52 Stratofortress during the NATO Days 2017 Air Show Sept. 16, 2017 in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Spectators wait in line to view the interior of a B-52 Stratofortress during the NATO Days 2017 Air Show Sept. 16, 2017 in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The B-52 along with a B-1 Lancer were on display to thousands during the air show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Callie Ware/Released)

Col. Brian McClanahan, the 489th Bomb Group commander, and Lt. Col. Chris Chandler, the 93rd Bomb Squadron director of operations, answer questions during a panel at the PANT Centrum in Ostrava, Czech Republic Sept. 14, 2017.

Col. Brian McClanahan, the 489th Bomb Group commander, and Lt. Col. Chris Chandler, the 93rd Bomb Squadron director of operations, answer questions during a panel at the PANT Centrum in Ostrava, Czech Republic Sept. 14, 2017. The local community had the opportunity to learn more about the partnership the U.S. has with NATO allies. McClanahan and Chandler were asked about deployment life and how they handled working with international partners during deployment as well as general questions about the B-1 Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Callie Ware/Released)

Chief Master Sgt. Shelley Cohen, the command chief master sergeant for the 307th Bomb Wing, paints a picture of her favorite toy along with students while answering questions about the U.S. Air Force and 307th BW during a visit to the 1st International School of Ostrava, Czech Republic, Sept. 15, 2017.

Chief Master Sgt. Shelley Cohen, the command chief master sergeant for the 307th Bomb Wing, paints a picture of her favorite toy along with students while answering questions about the U.S. Air Force and 307th BW during a visit to the 1st International School of Ostrava, Czech Republic, Sept. 15, 2017. The bomb wing is in the Czech Republic to support the NATO Days Air Show and attend numerous other events to build relationships and highlight the strength of U.S. commitment to the security of Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Callie Ware/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. Brian McClanahan, the 489th Bomb Group commander, fields questions regarding the B-1 Lancer during a school tour at the Leoš Janáček Ostrava Airport, Czech Republic, Sept. 13, 2017.

U.S. Air Force Col. Brian McClanahan, the 489th Bomb Group commander, fields questions regarding the B-1 Lancer during a school tour at the Leoš Janáček Ostrava Airport, Czech Republic, Sept. 13, 2017. The tour allows visiting students a sneak peek at the B-1 Lancer, the B-52 Stratofortress and the KC-135 Stratotanker before NATO Days 2017 air show. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Callie Ware/Released)

Lt. Col. John P. Booker, the 343rd Bomb Squadron Commander, interacts with visitors from the pilot seat of a B-52 Stratofortress during the NATO Days 2017 Air Show in Ostrava, Czech Republic, Sept. 17, 2017.

Lt. Col. John P. Booker, the 343rd Bomb Squadron Commander, interacts with visitors from the pilot seat of a B-52 Stratofortress during the NATO Days 2017 Air Show in Ostrava, Czech Republic, Sept. 17, 2017. A staircase on the outside of the plane allowed spectators of the air show to view the interior. U.S. Air Force participation in these events highlights the strength of U.S. commitment to the security of Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Callie Ware/Released)

Despite the rainy conditions, crowds wander around a static B-1 Lancer, assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing, at the NATO Days 2017 Air Show in Ostrava, Czech Republic, Sept. 17, 2017.

Despite the rainy conditions, crowds wander around a static B-1 Lancer, assigned to the 7th Bomb Wing, at the NATO Days 2017 Air Show in Ostrava, Czech Republic, Sept. 17, 2017. Thousands of people attended the air show to see military hardware, armaments, equipment, police and rescue equipment in addition to the dynamic and flying displays from around Europe. U.S. Air Force participation in these events highlights the strength of U.S. commitment to the security of Europe. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Callie Ware/Released)

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic --

Members of the 307th Bomb Wing, the 489th Bomb Group and the 155th Air Refueling Wing engaged in community events September 12-17 leading up to NATO Days 2017 Air Show in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

“The community relationships we have built in Ostrava help to assure the next generation that we are here to provide them security, deterrence and assurance,” said Col. Robert W. VanHoy II, the 307th Bomb Wing Commander.

The Airmen conducted student tours, visited schools, and attended community events during the week. Additionally, all three units were available during the air show to answer questions about the B-52 Stratofortress, the B-1 Lancer and the KC-135 Stratotanker on static display.

Local students from six cities were invited to a private tour of the B-52, the B-1 and the KC-135 on the south apron of Leoš Janáček Ostrava Airport prior the air show, said Lt. Col. Shawn P. Werchan, the 307th Operations Support Squadron commander. The Airmen also visited four schools and the Children’s Hospital of Ostrava, where a donation of approximately $4400 was made on behalf of the 307th Heritage Association.

Jagello 2000, a non-profit organization that informs the public about security policies and transatlantic relations, and the Centrum PANT, a local organization that educates the public on modern history, helped to coordinate opportunities between Airmen and Ostrava natives for discussions to produce a stronger relationship between the Czech Republic and the United States.

Despite the rainy conditions, large crowds lined up to enter the annual air show to see the presentation of military hardware, armaments, equipment,  police and rescue equipment in addition to the dynamic and flying displays.  

“Men, women and children come out in droves to see what we bring every year,” said Tech. Sgt. Terance R. Thomas, a B-1 crew chief assigned to the 489th Bomb Group. The aircraft are maintained day and night; in rain, sleet or snow. So there is such a sense of pride at the air show to have the B-1 on display this year.

“At the end of the day, for a maintainer, the jet speaks for itself,” said Thomas.

“Total Force reservist, guardsmen and active-duty Airmen came together seamlessly during NATO Days 2017 to build upon the long range, sustained assurance that we are committed to our allies in this region,” said VanHoy. “The Czech Republic has asked the U.S. to be the 2018 special partner nation for NATO Days next year.”