F-16 Fighting Falcon News

Thunderbirds perform at Annual Frontier Days Festival

July 23, 2015 (by Anthony Cornelius) - The United States Air force aerial demonstration squadron (The Thunderbirds) performed this past Wednesday over the Laramie County Community College campus in Cheyenne Wyoming for the 2015 Frontier Days Festival.

SSgt. Benjamin Ayivorh waits to marshal out Thunderbird #4 for his departure out of Wyoming. [Photo by Anthony Cornelius]

The Thunderbirds performance is an annual part of the Frontier days festival and has been ever since 1953 when the Thunderbirds made their first public debut at the frontier day’s airshow. They have performed there every year minus 2013 due to the (sequester) but were quickly back in the skies in 2014.

Members of the team look forward to this show every year because it is one of two shows that are guaranteed to be on their schedule every year, the other show being the USAFA flyover in Colorado Springs, Colorado for the AFA graduation every May.

Staff Sgt. Benjamin Ayivorh (Dedicated Crew Chief for Tbird #7) was asked why he looked forward to coming up to Cheyenne every year.

“Cheyenne was our very first civilian show site! It's the only stop we for sure go to every year! They are always excited to have us and it's during their rodeo/fair! This time of year for them has become synonymous with the Thunderbirds. Even though we couldn't go in 2013 during the sequester, a bunch of them came out to Vegas. It's all for the little cowboy in us. Thunderbirds and Cheyenne are tradition that goes way back to our very beginning; we in essence have grown up together!”

Ben is on his 4th and final season with the team, so this was his last trip to Cheyenne with the team. Once the 2015 season ends Ayivorh will be moving on from the team and going to USAF Pilot School.

After performing on Wednesday the Thunderbirds packed up and flew out Thursday morning on their way to their next stop Milwaukee, Wis.


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Thunderbird #4 claps and waves as he taxis out to depart KCYS. [Photo by Anthony Cornelius]