Airmen honor fallen commander in chief|
6/9/2004 - WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- Airmen nationwide will pay tribute this week to former President Ronald Reagan who died at his home June 5 from pneumonia as a complication of Alzheimers.
President Reagan, who was 93, served as the 40th commander in chief from 1981 to 1989.
Air Force participation in the state funeral includes several band performances as well as providing marching units, honor guard and a flyover.
The U.S. Air Force Band, stationed at Bolling Air Force Base, D.C., will perform on the following dates:
-- The Ceremonial Band will perform for the arrival of President Reagan’s remains at Andrews AFB, Md., on June 9.
-- The Singing Sergeants will perform “America the Beautiful” at the Capitol Rotunda on June 9.
-- The Singing Sergeants also will perform June 11 with a joint service chorus for the funeral service at the National Cathedral.
-- The Ceremonial Band will perform at Andrews for the departure of remains June 11.
The U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West from Travis AFB, Calif., will perform at the interment ceremony June 11 at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
Cadets from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo., will march in the funeral procession June 9. Cadet 1st Class Melissa Bland, summer Cadet Wing commander, will lead the contingent of 94 cadets.
F-15E Strike Eagle aircrews from the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C., will perform a 21-ship flyover June 9. A single aircraft will lead five four-ship formations spaced at 10-second intervals, crossing the National Mall at 1,000 feet. The final formation will perform the “missing man” formation. During the missing man maneuver, a wingman breaks from formation, rocketing skyward, leaving a hole in the formation signifying the loss of a fellow comrade in arms.
Air Force Honor Guard members performed guard-of-honor duties while President Reagan’s remains lay in repose at the Reagan Library on June 7 and 8. Other Air Force members of the guard of honor will remain with the president as he lies in state June 9 to 11.
Following the National Cathedral funeral service, 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. June 11, a motorcade will move President Reagan’s remains to Andrews for a return flight to a private funeral in California.
Hundreds of other Airmen are working behind the scenes, including an Air Combat Command aerial control team that will coordinate the timing of the flyover. Other support people include Airmen in services, transportation, plans, communications, command post, medical, security, public affairs and documentation.