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Rhode Island National Guard, mobilized to fight coronavirus, cancels air show

Two A-6 Texans, World War II trainer planes, take off to do a demonstration for the air show crowd in 2001.

BOB BREIDENBACH, PROVIDENCE JOURNAL/TNS

By JACK PERRY | Newport Daily News | Published: March 25, 2020

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(Tribune News Service) — The Rhode Island National Guard has canceled the 2020 Rhode Island Open House Air Show because of concerns about the coronavirus and the Guard's involvement in helping fight the pandemic in Rhode Island.

The show was scheduled to return to the Quonset Air National Guard Base June 20-21 after a one-year hiatus.

Maj. Gen. Christopher Callahan released the following statement statement:

"The cancelation of the 2020 RING Open House Air Show does not come without disappointment. The Open House Air Show is an opportunity to open our doors to the public and highlight the work our service men and women do to protect our state and nation each day," Callahan said.

"During this pandemic response, your Rhode Island National Guard has been mobilized to fight against the spread of the virus, training civilian medical personnel, staffing various call centers, distributing food and necessities to the most vulnerable, and performing a number of other critical functions," Callahan said.

"As such, our resources need to be acutely focused on the mitigation of the spread of this virus while remaining ready for our mission as the primary combat reserve of the Army and Air Force. We thank you for your continued support of our Rhode Island Soldiers and Airmen," he said.

The June performance would have been the 27th Rhode Island National Guard Open House Air Show.

The show was started in 1992 but was canceled in 2013 and again last year because of the high number of deployments within the Rhode Island Air National Guard.

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