Public Outreach Activities Resuming, Albeit More Limited

The Air Force’s Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team, Wings of Blue jump team, and Air Force Band are resuming public-outreach and community-engagement activities in Fiscal 2014, albeit at a reduced capacity, according to a service release. The Air Force had to curb or outright halt these activities in Fiscal 2013 due to budget sequestration, but is bringing them back as part of a Defense Department-wide plan to reconnect with the American public in a fiscally responsible manner, states the Oct. 25 release. The Air Force 2014 outreach plan cuts overall spending by approximately 54 percent from the 2012 levels. The Thunderbirds will have “a full season” of 34 shows divided between civilian and military events, while the Wings of Blue will participate in up to 33 shows, including Air Force Academy football games, states the release. The Air Force Band will go on tour as planned, but with a tight travel budget. The Air Force is still not resuming public flyovers across the country, nor is it returning to having aircraft on static display at civilian air shows. (Washington, D.C., report by MSgt. Kristina Newton)