December 12, 2011 (by TSgt. Jake Richmond) - The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds have announced their 2012 show schedule. The team is set to perform more than 60 demonstrations in 33 locations, including two shows in Canada.
The team, officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, will again kick-off their season by performing a flyover for the 54th running of NASCAR's Daytona 500 on Feb. 26. The remainder of the schedule is as follows:
- March 17: Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona
- March 31 & April 1: Lakeland, Florida
- April 14-15: Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona
- April 21-22: Barksdale AFB, Louisiana
- April 28-29: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- May 5-6: Shaw AFB, South Carolina
- May 12-13: Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey
- May 19-20: March Air Reserve Base, California
- May 23: Colorado Springs, Colo. - U.S. Air Force Academy graduation flyover
- May 26-27: Hill Air Force Base, Utah
- June 2-3: Rockford, Illinois
- June 9-10: Ocean City, Maryland
- June 16-17: North Kingstown, Rhode Island
- June 23-24: Indianapolis, Indina
- June 30 & July 1: Battle Creek, Michigan
- July 7-8: Gary, Indiana
- July 21-22: Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
- July 25: Cheyenne, Wyoming
- July 28-29: Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska
- Aug. 4-5: Hillsboro, Oregon
- Aug. 11-12: Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada
- Aug. 17: Atlantic City, New Jersey
- Aug. 25-26: Brunswick, Maine
- Sept. 1-2: Davenport, Iowa
- Sept. 8-9: Sacramento, California
- Sept. 15-16: Scott Air Force Base, Illinois
- Sept. 22-23: Salinas, California
- Sept. 29-30: McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas
- Oct. 6-7: Fort Worth, Texas
- Oct. 13-14: Daytona Beach, Florida
- Oct. 20-21: El Paso, Texas
- Oct. 27-28: Moody Air Force Base, Georgia
- Nov. 3-4: Homestead Air Reserve Base, Florida
- Nov. 10-11: Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada
"We are excited about the upcoming season and representing our fellow American Airmen," said Lt. Col. Greg Moseley, who will command and lead the team in the 2012 show season. "We feel honored to tell the story of U.S. Air Force Airmen serving on the front lines of freedom around the world. We will proudly represent each Airmen with the same pride, precision and professionalism in which they perform their duties each and every day".
The coming year will mark the 59th of the Thunderbirds existence, dating back to 1953 when the team flew the straight-winged F-84G Thunderjets. This season will mark the 30th season the squadron has performed in the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the Air Force's premier multi-role fighter aircraft.
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USAF Thunderbird No. 2, Capt. Ryan Riely, foreground, the left wing pilot, and Thunderbirds No. 1, Lt. Col. Case Cunningham get into formation beside a KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft assigned to the 157th ARW during an air to air refueling mission over the eastern United States, while en route to an air show in Portsmouth, N.H. on August 11th, 2011.