NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds have finalized their 2014 show schedule. In its 61st season, the team is slated to perform 66 demonstrations at 34 locations.
The flying unit, officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, will perform its first public flyover of 2014 at the opening of the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif.,
- Jan. 1. The remainder of the schedule is as follows:
- Feb. 23: Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.
- arch 9: Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas
- March 15-16: Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.
- March 22-23: MacDill AFB, Fla.
- March 29-30: Punta Gorda, Fla.
- April 5-6: Columbus AFB, Miss.
- April 12-13: Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.
- April 26-27: Barksdale AFB, La.
- May 3-4: Travis AFB, Calif.
- May 10-11: Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J.
- May 17-18: Youngstown Air Reserve Base, Ohio
- May 24-25: Cannon AFB, N.M.
- May 28: U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
- May 31 – June 1: Fairchild AFB, Wash.
- June 7-8: Rockford, Ill.
- June 14-15: Ocean City, Md.
- June 21-22: Tinker AFB, Okla.
- June 28-29: Hill AFB, Utah
- July 5-6: Battle Creek, Mich.
- July 12-13: Fair Oaks, Ind.
- July 15: Target Field, Minneapolis
- July 23: Cheyenne, Wyo.
- July 26-27: Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska
- Aug. 2-3: Oshkosh, Wisc.
- Aug. 9-10: Ypsilanti, Mich.
- Aug. 13: Atlantic City, N.J.
- Aug. 16-17: Rochester, N.Y.
- Aug. 23-24: Waterloo, Iowa
- Aug. 30-31: Kalispell, Mont.
- Sep. 13-14: Altus AFB, Okla.
- Sep. 20-21: Mountain Home AFB, Idaho
- Sep. 27-28: Salinas, Calif.
- Oct. 4-5: Melbourne, Fla.
- Oct. 11-12: Daytona Beach, Fla.
- Oct. 18-19: Rome, Ga.
- Oct. 25-26: Fort Worth, Texas
- Nov. 1-2: Santa Teresa, N.M.
- Nov. 8-9: Nellis AFB
The announcement of the schedule confirms the Defense Department’s commitment to supporting community engagement. Last October, in an internal memo to military service chiefs, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel stressed a continuing need to maintain military demonstration teams.
“Community and public outreach is a crucial Departmental activity that reinforces trust and confidence in the United States military and in its most important asset — people,” Hagel asserted.
“It is our obligation to sustain that trust well into the future.”
The resumption of demonstrations is good news for the squadron’s Airmen, who normally spend up to 220 days a year traveling.
“We’re glad to be back,” said Lt. Col. Greg Moseley, Thunderbirds commander and lead pilot. “But, right now, we’re focused on training. While we’re excited to know we’ll be able to tell the Air Force story on the road, we’re completely focused on ensuring we have a safe show season.”
Charged with demonstrating the professionalism of Airmen and the capabilities of modern airpower, the Thunderbirds were formed in 1953. The 2014 season marks the 32nd year the squadron has performed in the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
Assigned to Air Combat Command, the squadron is composed of nearly 130 Airmen serving in more than two dozen Air Force job specialties.
The primary product of that teamwork is a Thunderbirds aerial demonstration, which is approximately 40 maneuvers, varying between formation flying and solo routines. The entire show, including the beginning ground ceremony, lasts about one hour. A typical air show travel season extends from March to November.
To learn more about the Thunderbirds, visit www.afthunderbirds.com. On Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/YouTube: afthunderbirds.