These are the days I REALLY love my job: Today I got to hang out with the fine men and women of the Air Force to do a special preview of the Joint Base Andrews Air Show!
The Joint Base Andrews Air Show is a time to show off, but it’s also a way to say thank you to their many supporters. “This is the home of Air Force One and this is America’s airfield, there are very few times we get to open it up to the generic public,” says Colonel Brad Hoagland, Joint Base Andrews Commander and 11th Wing Commander. “This is one thing that we can do in the military is give back its the community, it’s the relationships, it’s the partnerships that we have and that have been enduring throughout this region for years.”
For the first time since 2012, the show is back at the Prince George’s County base. Friday is a day for practice and families, Saturday is the real show, and it’s going to be a special one.
More than 100,000 people are expected to be on base Saturday for the airshow, all here to catch a glimpse of the more than 3-dozen performers. You’ll see a Heritage flight, featuring the Air Force’s newest aircraft: the F-22 Raptors and the vintage P-51’s used in the Korean War and WWII.
“They have an opportunity to do, what I think is the greatest thing, is look at some of the Heritage Aircraft, some of the WWII aircraft here on the ramp,” says Colonel Hoagland.
The C-17’s, the B-25’s and P-40’s are also not to be missed, and you can’t miss the big guy: The C5, which is the largest plane in the Air Force.
But don’t forget about NASA’s Super Guppy, appropriately named, because it does indeed look like a guppy fish. Although he won’t be going up in the air, you will have a chance to board some of these incredible aircrafts. “To just sit in the cockpit and take a look at what aviation from early 1900’s all the way through present day,” says Colonel Hoagland.
It’s the first air show here since 2012, thanks to budget cuts and then sequestration in 2013. This year, the show is back in a big way; with the superstars themselves: The Thunderbirds. “The Thunderbirds here, they are going to go big, it will be a great performance,” says Colonel Hoagland. “We are blessed this year to have the Thunderbirds as part of our airshow.”
The U.S. Special Operation’s Command jump team, the Para-Commandos, will demonstrate a parachute jump.
The event is free and it will most certainly be packed. The gates open at 9:00 Saturday morning and opening ceremony starts at 10:00.
Free shuttles will run from FedEx Field and Branch Avenue Metro Stations to the base until 1 p.m.
The US Special Operation’s Command jump team, the Para-Commandos will also demonstrate a parachute jump.
Saturday is just for the professionals, but I did manage to get a promise from Lt Commander Lauro Luna. Watch: