Sat, Dec 03, 2011
Air Combat Command Cites Budget Reductions As Reasons For The
A major draw for air shows large and small is the ability for
the public to see military aircraft much closer than they would
probably be able to otherwise. But looming defense budget cuts may
spell at least a temporary end to the displays by Air Force planes
at many shows, often seen as an effective recruiting tool.
In an official Air Combat Command (ACC) statement forwarded to
ANN, the command, the Air Force’s primary force provider,
says that due to significant fiscal constraints, they are being
required to make tough decisions about the best ways to continue
providing combat airpower to warfighting commanders.
"One decision we’ve made is to sponsor one single-ship
demonstration team for the 2012 air show season, scaling back from
the six teams we’ve historically sponsored – A-10 East
& West, F-16 East & West, F-15E and F-22," the statement
reads. "For the 2012 season, we’re sponsoring our F-22
demonstration team to perform at up to 20 shows. In addition to the
F-22 demonstration team, the Thunderbirds are set to complete a
full season next year, and their schedule will be announced next
week at the International Council of Air Shows conference.
"Reducing the number of single-ship demonstration teams will
allow us to reallocate more than 900 sorties to our wings so they
can maximize their flying hours for combat readiness training,
offsetting some of the reduction we’ve seen in flying hours.
Most importantly, reallocating those sorties will provide an
increase in more than 25 combat-ready fighter pilots –
that’s a very good thing for our Nation and wise stewardship
of our limited resources.
"The opportunity to showcase our aircrew at air shows around the
country is important – and we’re confident our
Thunderbirds, F-22 demonstration team and Heritage Flight
Foundation will continue highlighting the extraordinary work of all
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