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Thunderbirds — Up, Up and Away Again

Getty Images Alex Trautwig

After being grounded due to budget cuts the USAF Thunderbirds are scheduled to fly again. Since April 1, they were grounded with the implementation of the congressional sequestration. No word yet on when their first show will be. Here are the dates they missed.Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. – March 16-17 (cancelled by show organizers)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic — April 6-7
Lakeland, Fla. — April 13-14
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — April 20-21
Latrobe, Pa. — April 27-28 (cancelled by show organizers)
Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. – May 4-5 (cancelled by show organizers)
Martinsburg, W. Va. — May 11-12 (cancelled by show organizers)
Fairchild AFB, Wash. — May 18-19 (cancelled by show organizers)
Jones Beach, N.Y. — May 25-26
U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo. – May 29
Rochester, N.Y. — June 1-2 (indefinitely postponed by show organizers)
Joint Base Charleston, S.C. — June 8 (cancelled by show organizers)
Ypsilanti, Mich. — June 15-16
Dayton, Ohio — June 22-23
Myrtle Beach, S.C. — June 29-30 (cancelled by show organizers)
Battle Creek, Mich. — July 6-7
Kalispell, Mont. — July 20-21 (indefinitely postponed by show organizers)

According to their offcial website, ”

The Thunderbirds have the privilege and responsibility to perform for people all around the world, displaying the pride, precision and professionalism of American Airmen. In every hour-long demonstration, the team combines years of training and experience with an attitude of excellence to showcase what the Air Force is all about.

The sharply choreographed, drill-style ground ceremony kicks off the demonstration by showcasing the attention to detail and esprit de corps that defines our enlisted members. As the jets take to the skies and fly only a few feet from wingtip to wingtip, the crowd gets a glimpse of the awesome skills and capabilities that all fighter pilots must possess. The solo pilots integrate their own loud and proud routine, exhibiting some of the maximum capabilities of the F-16 Fighting Falcon – the Air Force’s premier multi-role fighter jet”.

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