Misawa Air Festival expected to wow crowd
MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — More than 150,000 people are expected to pour through the base gates Sunday for the annual Misawa Air Festival.
The gates open at 8 a.m. for off-base guests, and the event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Base officials advise base personnel to avoid entering or exiting gates from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Last year, more than 177,000 people attended the air festival.
While the Japan Air Self-Defense Force at Misawa sponsors the event, U.S. Air Force personnel help organize and run the show. Nineteen U.S. aircraft and 30 JASDF aircraft will be featured at the festival.
“So far, we’ll have aircraft from Kadena, Yokota, Kunsan, Osan and McChord,” Capt. Nicholas Hamilton, 14th Fighter Squadron chief of training and air festival project officer, was quoted as saying on the Misawa base Web site. “There will be many demonstrations, including the JASDF Blue Impulse, which performs stunts from high altitudes, and the C-17 Globemaster, which will showcase its ability to land on a short runway.”
Other aerial demonstrations will be performed by F-14, F-15J, F-2, F-16, UH-60 and CH-47 aircraft. The JASDF band will perform, and there will be numerous static displays, Hamilton said in an e-mail to Stars and Stripes.
Officials said Japanese citizens will be able to drive onto base through the Kamikita Gate by Security Hill and the North Gate by the base beach. The main gate will be open to pedestrians.
Individuals with Defense Department ID cards and base employees may use the Levitow and POL gates throughout the day when entering and exiting the base. Pets, vehicles and smoking are prohibited on the flightline during the festival, officials said.
Hamilton said there will be 47 American booths, 50 Japanese booths and 12 aircrew booths selling items.