The United States Air
Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, performed their 4,000th
air show May 13 at Robins Air Force Base, Ga. The show was the
team's 14th of the 2006 season.
“We perform about 70 air shows throughout the year,
representing the 530,000 men and women in our Air Force,”
said Lt. Col. Kevin Robbins, Thunderbirds commander.
“We are proud to be able to go throughout the U.S. talking
about our brothers and sisters in arms who are supporting the war
on terror and putting bombs on targets daily. This 4,000th show is
just another way to represent those people.”
The team crossed the 3,000th air show milestone on April 22,
1990, at Norfolk Naval Air Station, Va.
“I am very proud of our enlisted maintainers and the
personal sacrifices they make daily,” said Senior Master Sgt.
Mark Antunes, line chief.
“We are extremely fortunate to represent the combat forces
during this 4,000th show. The men and women on this team,
constantly give 100 percent, just like the men and women currently
deployed around the world."
While a lot of the credit for the team reaching the 4,000th air
show falls on the shoulders of the maintenance team, there were
many others involved as well. A team effort is what gets the job
done every time, said Staff Sgt. Ray Moose, Thunderbirds airlift
“This team can credit its standards of perfection to
teamwork,” Sergeant Moose said. “All 122 handpicked
team members have an A-plus personality, which means no one goes
home until the last person’s job is done. We take a great
amount of pride in each and every task we perform.”
As the team passes this milestone, they look to the future and
what it will take to reach yet another history-making day: 5,000
“Our team is definitely capable of reaching that
goal,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Acevedo, Thunderbirds
“Every one of my enlisted teammates, upon the end of our
three years, we will be replaced with another proud Airman who will
continue our traditions and standards. This cycle is a small
testament why America's Air Force is the world's most respected air
and space force, and why the sky’s the limit for the legend
of the Thunderbirds.”
Though the team hit a milestone, the celebration was
short-lived. Two days after performing their 4,000th show, the team
loaded up more than 56,000 pounds of cargo and headed back to their
home at Nellis. On May 18, the Thunderbirds will make their way to
Altus AFB, Okla., for another show.
The Thunderbirds started their travel season in March and will
be on the road until mid-November; completing more than 70 shows
this year in 35 states. [ANN Thanks Staff Sgt. Josh Clendenen,
Thunderbirds Public Affairs]