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Planning for Eglin Air Show underway

The crowds gather around a C-5 Galaxy during the 2004 Open House and Air Show.

The crowds gather around a C-5 Galaxy during the 2004 Open House and Air Show.

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Plans are in high gear for Eglin's 2007 Open House and Air Show.

The event, scheduled for April 14 and 15, is the first here since 2004. This year's theme, "Heritage to Horizons: Celebrating 60 Years of Air Power on Eglin," will showcase the mission here and pay homage to the Air Force's 60th Anniversary.

"This is a tremendous opportunity to raise public awareness of the service's operations, capabilities and support of the war on terror, while showcasing its Airmen and thanking our friends for their support," said Col. Dean Clemons, 96th Air Base Wing commander. "These activities provide a remarkable opportunity for the Air Force to demonstrate our pride and professionalism."

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the Army's Golden Knights are already confirmed performers for both days. The Thunderbirds, the U.S. Air Force's air demonstration squadron, perform precision aerial maneuvers demonstrating the capabilities of Air Force high performance aircraft. The Golden Knights are the U.S. Army's parachute team that travels around the country performing aerial demonstrations in support of Army recruiting goals.

Also confirmed are Starfighters Team F-104s, the B-25 heritage aircraft the Trojan Phlyers, three fully restored T-28B aircraft, and the Red Baron four-plane Stearman biplane Squadron Team. Additional acts will be announced as they are confirmed. The Air Boss, Lt. Col. Sean Gallagher, is currently lining up static displays for the public to view on the ground, and Capt. Jeffrey Anderson is in charge of displays inside Hangar 110.

According to air show/open house director Lt. Col. John Knowles, pre-planning began last summer by securing the demonstration teams. In October, planning began in earnest by appointing "bosses" for all the specific areas required to take care of an air show: air, ground, operations, and contingencies. There is also an Air Show support team working behind the scenes, including protocol, public affairs and contracting. Every wing and every organization on base is represented to make the Open House a reality.

"Under each boss, there are literally an additional twenty to thirty people who are working the various areas," Colonel Knowles said. "There will be more than 200 volunteers for parking, ramp surveillance, and clean-up, ensuring a safe and fun atmosphere."

Additional updates about the Open House and Air Show will be posted on Eglin's home Web page at www.eglin.af.mil.

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of three articles covering various aspects of the Eglin Air Show.

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