Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sequester Moved Thunderbirds to the Koreas

After performances the past weekend, the Pentagon will suspend public appearances of its aerial acrobatic flying teams, like the Air Force's Thunderbirds and the Navy's Blue Angels until at least after September 30th, the last day of the fiscal year subject to sequester cuts. In order to continue this American tradition, the US asked to those who can afford, to travel the sea near to North Korea where two nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers are flying over ally South Korea.

The two B-2s flew 20,800 kilometers from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri and back after demonstrating a precision strike by dropping ordnance on a target range in the South.

In response to sequestration actions, the Air Force and Air Combat Command officials have canceled aerial demonstration team performances to include the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds past April 1.

"This decision enables ACC to reallocate flying hours to combat readiness training, which will enable more sorties for combat readiness and deployment commitments, ensuring strategic air defense forces are ready to meet the challenges of peacetime air sovereignty and wartime air defense."

The Thunderbirds were scheduled to perform more than 60 demonstrations at 38 locations between March and November, demonstrating the capabilities of Airmen and supporting Air Force recruiting efforts.

Lieutenant Col. Greg Moseley, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron commander/leader, said the squadron’s mission will continue, even though the 130-person team will not be traveling after March.

“Sequestration temporarily limits our ability to travel, but it doesn’t stop us from reaching out within our community to tell the Air Force story,” said Moseley. “We still have an obligation to educate people about our great Air Force and the incredible things our Airmen do.”

The two B-2s are part of the joint US-South Korean military exercises with the use of the stealth bombers.

Secretary of state John Kerry will visit the region in a week or so for meetings with Japan, China and South Korea, the State Department said.

The Pentagon did not disclose how much taxpayer money is being involved in the show - joint exercise - with South Korea and we don't know how much savings is coming as part of the sequestration, either.

In Augusta, nevertheless, will be air show this year. According to its website, the "Boshears' 21st Annual Skyfest will be held October 19th and 20th, 2013. Excitement is in the air and on the ground...with lots of fun for the entire family!

The mission of Boshears Skyfest is to honor the memory of the Boshears brothers by raising awareness of general aviation and its history in Augusta, especially to the youth of the Central Savannah River Area.

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