Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Get ready for the return of the raptor!

55th Wing Public Affairs

3/4/2014 - OFFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb.  -- The F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team will perform on base for the first time since 2010 as part of the Defenders of Freedom Open House and Air Show on July 19 - 20.

The official announcement came last week from Air Combat Command and by adding the F-22 to the previously announced Blue Angels, this year's air show has the makings to be one of the biggest in its 41-year history.

"If you were to ask any air show director what performers they'd like to have at their show, they'd say the Blue Angels and the F-22, so we've nailed it," said Maj. Brian Burger, Defenders of Freedom Open House and Air Show director.

The F-22 is the world's most advanced operational aircraft. During its performance, it will demonstrate precision aerial maneuvers that only a fifth-generation fighter aircraft can.

"We're pleased to have the most sought-after single ship demonstration act in the world scheduled for our show," said Col. Gregory Guillot, 55th Wing commander. "The F-22 has a unique combination of stealth, supercruise, maneuverability and integrated avionics, coupled with improved supportability. It truly represents an exponential leap in warfighting capabilities. We are anxious for our community to see what the Raptor can do."

"If you've never seen the F-22 live, you really need to make sure and be here for it," Burger said. "It's absolutely incredible."

With the addition of the F-22 Raptor, air show attendees will also be treated to a heritage flight, which demonstrates the proud heritage of military aviation over the past 60 years.

Burger said the full schedule is still being worked on, but he did say that his team has also confirmed appearances by Matt Younkin's Twin Beech 18, Randy Ball's MiG-17, Michael Goulian, Ace Maker Air Shows T-33 and Michael Wiskus among others.

"We're also very excited to have the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, known as the Leap Frogs, as part of our show as well," said Maj. James Lee, Defenders of Freedom Open House and Air Show air director. "They are comprised of Navy SEALS and will be a great way to start our show both days."

Also new to the Defenders of Freedom Open House and Air Show this year will be the Flight Deck. This is a pay tent that puts attendees right on the flightline, close to show center.

"Admission is still free to the event, but we wanted to offer something new to folks who are looking to get a little closer to the action, so we've introduced the Flight Deck," Burger said. "A lot of other shows have offered something similar and it's been pretty popular, so we wanted to do it here as well."

As always, the show will once again showcase multiple exhibitors that will give those in attendance unfamiliar with the United States military a deeper look at the day-to-day life of a service member.

In addition to air power, the open house will also feature a kid's zone, which will offer plenty of rides and games for children throughout the weekend.

To keep up with the latest on the air show, please visit www.offuttairshow.com.

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