Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Thunderbirds release 2007 show schedule

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (AFPN) -- The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, "Thunderbirds," has announced its 2007 air show schedule.

The team is scheduled to perform more than 68 shows in 21 states and nine European countries.

The 2007 schedule is as follows:

24-25 Luke AFB AZ
31 Point Mugu NB Ventura County CA

01 Point Mugu NB Ventura County CA
14-15 Eglin AFB FL
21-22 Barksdale AFB LA
28-29 Langley AFB VA

05-06 Fort Lauderdale FL
12-13 McGuire AFB NJ
19-20 Andrews AFB MD
26-27 Wantagh (Jones Beach) NY
30 U.S. Air Force Academy CO (By Invitation Only Show)

02-03 Davenport IA
09-10 Sacramento CA
16-17 Pittsburgh PA
23-24 Galway, Ireland
26 Krzesiny Air Base, Poland
28 Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania
30 Ankara, Turkey

01 Graf Ignatievo, Bulgaria
04 Aviano AB, Italy
07-08 Evreux Field, France
14-15 RAF Fairford, United Kingdom
25 Cheyenne WY
28-29 Dayton OH

11-12 Niagara Falls NY
15 Atlantic City NJ
18-19 Chicago IL
25-26 Otis ANGB MA

01-03 Cleveland OH
08 Minot AFB ND
15 Hickam AFB HI
22-23 El Paso TX
29-30 Columbus OH

06-07 Pope AFB NC
13-14 Miramar MCAS CA
20-21 Moody AFB GA
27-28 New Orleans LA

03-04 NASA Cape Canaveral FL
10-11 Nellis AFB NV

"The entire team is excited to announce our schedule for 2007," said Lt. Col. Kevin Robbins, Thunderbird No. 1, commander and leader. "The Thunderbirds' motto is 'Ambassadors in Blue' ... in the truest sense of those words this year we'll be able to bring the message of every hard-working Airman to thousands of people around the world."

The second-year commander said his team is ready to take the Airman's story abroad.
"We are well aware this is a time of conflict for our nation, yet it is important to take the time to display the true nature of our armed forces, both to allies and foes," Colonel Robbins said. "We look forward to illustrating the dedication, commitment and humility our Airmen display in their jobs each day, both at home and overseas."

The Thunderbirds will also commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Air Force throughout their 2007 season.

"We are representing six decades of air dominance this year," Colonel Robbins said. "The Air Force and Thunderbirds of today uphold the pride and professionalism that millions of Airmen have displayed for 60 years."

The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron is an Air Combat Command unit composed of eight pilots (including six demonstration pilots), four support officers, four civilians and about 110 enlisted people performing in more than 29 Air Force specialties.

The 2007 team includes the world's first female jet demonstration pilot, Maj. Nicole Malachowski, Thunderbird No. 3, right wing, in her second year, and the Thunderbirds' first female solo pilot, Maj. Samantha Weeks, Thunderbird No. 6, opposing solo, in her first season with the team.

The remaining pilots for the 2007 season include: Maj. Chris Austin, Thunderbird No. 2, left wing; Maj. Scott Poteet, Thunderbird No. 4, slot; and Maj. Ed Casey, Thunderbird No. 5, lead solo.

Rounding out the list of officers are: Maj. Rob Skelton, Thunderbird No. 7, operations officer; Maj. Tad Clark, Thunderbird No. 8, advance pilot/narrator; Maj. (Dr.) Dan Mirski, Thunderbird No. 9, flight surgeon; Capt. Amy Glisson, Thunderbird No. 10, executive officer; Capt. Charles Ploetz, Thunderbird No. 11, maintenance officer; and Capt. Elizabeth Kreft, Thunderbird No. 12, public affairs officer.

A Thunderbirds' aerial demonstration is a mix of formation flying and solo routines. The pilots perform approximately 40 maneuvers in a demonstration. The entire show, including ground and air, runs about one hour. The air show season lasts from March to November, with the winter months used to train new members.