D-M is opening its gates to the public at the 2012 ‘Thunder and Lightning over Arizona’ open house, April 14-15.
The open house is usually a bi-annual event. ‘Arizona & Aerospace Days’ air show took place in March 2010.
This year, the base is celebrating aviation history, airpower and 100 years of Arizona Statehood. Several military air demonstration teams including the Air Force’s premier demo team, the Thunderbirds, the U.S. Air Force Academy jump team Wings of Blue, and many more are slated to perform.
“Our open house is unique in that we can showcase different missions and show the public how the A-10 and Combat Search and Rescue mission all work together to accomplish goals downrange,” said Maj. Keith Wolak, Open House 2012 director. “We are excited about several one-of-a-kind aircraft that we will have on static display.”
Specific security measures will be in place to ensure the safety of this event and security forces has the right to search and turn away anyone who is not compliant with these requirements.
“It is important that people stay hydrated in the Arizona sun,” Wolak said. “Each guest is permitted to bring one clear plastic water bottle with them but camelbacks and glass bottles are not allowed. Free water buffaloes will be available for people to fill their bottles up and bottled water will be available for purchase.”
The public should also prepare for the unique Arizona environment by wearing appropriate sun gear such as sun block and hats, but umbrellas and canopies are not permitted on base.
A limited amount of bleachers will be available for seating, but chairs will be available for rental.
General public members may enter the base starting at 8:30 a.m. through the Swan and Craycroft Gates and are highly encouraged to car pool. Handicap parking is only accessible through the Craycroft Gate.
Those with base IDs and base access passes may enter through the Wilmot Gate and enter the event area at the Plane-on-a-Stick, located at the corner of First Street and Yuma; however they should be aware that parking near this entrance is reserved for open house players.
Anyone with a military ID, to include active duty, dependent, and reserve may park at the 355th Medical Group or the Mirage Club and ride free shuttles to the event entrance beginning at 9 a.m. Base access passes will not be accepted to ride these shuttles.