EDWARDS AFB, Calif. — Having survived years-long security shutdowns from the 9/11 attacks and long periods of mandated COVID-19 pandemic quarantines, the countdown clock is ticking down to the return of the annual Edwards Air Force Base Open House and Air Show.
With the curtain set to rise the mornings of Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15-18, only one item is coming up short on the checklist — the number of local volunteers needed to do the many chores required in putting on an air show and tending to the tens of thousands of visitors expected.
Public Affairs spokesman Chase Kohler said exact numbers of volunteers needed for the air show days isn’t known, as there are so many variables involved in matching skills, half-day and full-day availability on one or two-day commitments. But in round numbers, the need is estimated to be around 1,500
But one absolute certainty is the deadline for volunteering. No applications will be accepted after Sept. 30. Kohler explained that Defense Department security regulations require that all volunteers must pass a standard security check, which typically takes 15 days.
To sign-up as a volunteer, visit https://avairshow.com/volunteer-for-the-2022-aerospace-valley-air-show/
Fill out and return the information, and a representative will be in touch to plan. Kohler said anyone age 16 or older, with a clear criminal history is eligible to volunteer.
Needed tasks include: Giving directions; removing debris; working an information or services booth, serving in a concessions booth, checking tickets, reuniting lost parents and children, or other such duties.
Volunteers do get perks and choices, perks including special access to the base, a free lunch, an air show t-shirt. People can volunteer for one or both days, with four-hour or full-day shifts.
And, as Kohler puts it, “Why only just watch the show when you can be an important part of it?”
Groups, including Scouting organizations, Civil Air Patrol among others, are also actively being recruited for volunteer duty with benefits. Organizations operating in concessions can share a portion of the revenue.
Organized by the 412th Test Wing at Edwards, this event will be the first open house for the base in 13 years. The weekend also consists of a large STEM Expo with nearly 60 hands-on displays and activities for school children on Friday, Sept. 14.