RENO, Nev. -- Before taking off for Oakland, Calif., GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan late Friday afternoon greeted and posed for photos with about 20 airmen, members of the 19th Airlift Wing based out of Little Rock, Ark.

"I just wanted to say thanks for your service," Ryan told a first group of five airmen as he greeted them in front of a C-130 military jet emblazoned with "The Rock" on the tail.

He then made his way over to a second military jet, where he greeted about 17 airmen. Ryan's Wisconsin-based chief of staff, Andy Speth, also chatted with the airmen; Speth is a national guardsman with the Wisconsin Air National Guard.

According to a campaign aide, the 19th Airlift Wing is in Reno for a training mission.

It's the second time that Ryan has made an impromptu stop to greet members of the military at an airport during his travels as vice-presidential nominee.

Two weeks ago, after a rally in Ohio, Ryan shook hands and posed for photos with several Marines in front of three green Chinook helicopters at Port Columbus International Airport.