Kunsan orphans still get special excursion after rain washes out Osan Air Power Day
September 9, 2003
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — Wet, murky weather Sunday forced cancellation of Osan Air Base’s second annual Air Power and Space Day.
The event was to have combined a big air show with food, live bands, a play area for kids and other entertainment.
Base officials said they’d been eager to host the open house, aimed largely at the Korean public, as part of the larger Good Neighbor Program that Gen. Leon J. LaPorte, top U.S. military commander in South Korea, launched earlier this year.
“Air Power and Space Day 2003 was canceled due to inclement weather, including lightning,” said 1st Lt. Tom Montgomery, a base spokesman. “We sincerely regret that we didn’t have the opportunity to share this day with the local community. We look forward to further opportunities to host our neighbors.”
The main event was to have been an air show in which fighter aircraft would have roared across the sky in displays of tightly choreographed formation flying and aerobatic stunts.
An enactment of a combat search and rescue mission — the simulated rescue of a downed pilot involving helicopters and covered by attack planes — also had been planned. And the flight line bristled with combat aircraft set out on display, with the bombs and missiles they can put on a target.
But base officials didn’t want the day to be a total washout for those few who had made their way to the base.
They opened the base theater so visitors could hear an Air Force band. They served the visitors food. And a busload of orphans from Kunsan — brought to Osan at the Kunsan Air Base chaplain’s invitation — were brought to the flight line for a brief, if wet, look at the aircraft on display.