Thunderbirds to join Blue Angels and return to air show circuits in 2014
The Press of Atlantic City, Pleasantville, N.J.
PLEASANTVILLE, N.J. — The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will resume performances in 2014, the Air Force announced Tuesday.
The Thunderbirds’ season will consist of 34 performances split between military and civilian events. Schedules are expected to be confirmed in December, according to the announcement.
Last week, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels also confirmed they would resume performances in 2014. Federal budget cuts grounded both teams this year.
Atlantic City Airshow organizers have confirmed they have applied to be on both teams’ performance schedules. The Thunderbirds had performed at every Atlantic City Airshow for a decade, but organizers were unable to book the team in 2013 due to scheduling conflicts. Later in the year, however, the Thunderbirds’ performances were cancelled entirely due to budget cuts.
The Air Force’s plan has been approved by the Secretary of Defense. The Air Force will not resume its public flyover program, and will not be available for static aircraft displays at civilian air shows. Atlantic City’s show does not include standing displays.
“Community and public outreach is a crucial activity for the Air Force because we must connect with the people we serve and highlight the capabilities of the Air Force,” Brig. Gen Les Kodlick, the Air Force public affairs director, said in a statement.