HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force Bands, Thunderbirds resume outreach operations in 2014

The Air Force Thunderbirds fly the six-ship Delta formation over the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to begin the start of the Kobalt Tools 400.

The Air Force Thunderbirds fly the six-ship Delta formation over the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to begin the start of the Kobalt Tools 400.

The Air Force Thunderbirds fly the six-ship Delta formation over the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to begin the start of the Kobalt Tools 400.

The Air Force Thunderbirds fly the six-ship Delta formation over the Las Vegas Motor Speedway to begin the start of the Kobalt Tools 400.

Airmen from the Air Force Band march in front of the National Archives during the National Memorial Day Parade May 28, 2013, in Washington, D.C. The parade highlighted the Air Force's 60th anniversary as a separate service.

Airmen from the Air Force Band march in front of the National Archives during the National Memorial Day Parade May 28, 2013, in Washington, D.C. The parade highlighted the Air Force's 60th anniversary as a separate service.

WASHINGTON (AFNS) --

The Air Force is implementing a coordinated plan to resume public outreach and community engagements at a reduced capacity as a result of a multi-service working group.

The plan, approved by the Secretary of Defense, promotes a formalized, joint approach to national engagement and represents a new normal for outreach operations across the services, according to Wendy Varhegyi, the Air Force public affairs engagement division chief.

Two popular, high-visibility programs, the Thunderbirds and Wings of Blue aerial demonstration teams, will return with full seasons.  However, the Air Force will not resume a public flyover program across the country, nor will there be Air Force static display aircraft at civilian air shows.

“The decision was made after months of coordination between the services and is, we believe, the fiscally responsible way to reconnect with the American public,” Varhegyi said.  “We may, however, see some slight modifications to the plan as the year progresses.”

Funeral flyovers are not affected by this plan and will continue to be coordinated through normal procedures.

For the Thunderbirds, a full season will consist of 34 shows divided between civilian and military events, while the Wings of Blue Jump Team will participate in up to 33 shows, including Air Force Academy football games. Schedules are expected to be confirmed in December.

The Air Force 2014 outreach plan cuts overall spending by approximately 54 percent from the 2012 levels but still allows the Air Force an opportunity to engage with the American public.

“Community and public outreach is a crucial activity for the Air Force because we must connect with the people we serve and highlight the capabilities of the Air Force,” said Brig. Gen. Les Kodlick, the Air Force public affairs director.  “Historically the Air Force participates in thousands of local and national events every year, including approximately 1,000 flyovers. Under the new plan, those small scale flyovers will cease.  Instead, the Thunderbirds will fly over a limited number of national-level events.”

The Department of Defense has struggled to conduct outreach operations since sequestration hit March 1. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently wrote in a memorandum to service chiefs that this has resulted in a lapse of communication with nearly half a billion people worldwide. 

While Hagel wrote that returning to pre-sequester outreach spending is not viable, he believes the current plan “is proactive, comprehensive, fiscally responsible and strategically sound.  It matches our limited outreach assets against departmental priorities and provides us the best opportunity to gain the highest returns on our investment.”

Other Air Force assets expected to continue limited activity include Air Force bands. Because travel restrictions have been lifted, the regional bands will resume public performances across their area of responsibility and The Air Force Band will go on tour as planned, though travel budgets are capped at 50 percent of 2012 expenditures.

The Air Force will also continue to engage with local communities on a grassroots level through installation open houses, participation during sporting events and community and civic activities. 

Sequestration is ongoing and the department will continue to be subject to financial constraints, however, outreach activities serve to educate and reinforce public trust and confidence in the Air Force, and are essential.  

“We understand not everyone will be happy with the plan DOD has put forth,” Kodlick said.  “But it is vital the American people know about America’s Air Force -- who we are and what we do.  These engagements, although limited, enable us to do that.”

Engage

Twitter
During a visit to @TeamMinot, @GenCQBrownJr had the opportunity to see how Airmen maintained operations during the… https://t.co/Jot5OwF6sm
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: .@PANationalGuard Medical Airmen with the 171st Air Refueling Wing honed lifesaving skills as part of an Ability To Survi…
Twitter
Registration for Hack-A-Sat 2, which enables security researchers of all levels to focus their skills and creativit… https://t.co/nxUKmkhiTA
Twitter
The Installation Resilience Operations Center prototype is a game-changing solution for enhancing base security, em… https://t.co/ATHhejDoQJ
Twitter
“It’s important that you will be able to lead through complex challenges,” @GenCQBrownJr said. “I really want to ch… https://t.co/UI86usPVtO
Twitter
VCSAF Gen David W. Allvin visited various @AFResearchLab facilities to see how the 711th Human Performance Wing is… https://t.co/F5tpk0Mabc
Twitter
Invisible Wounds: Signs and Symptoms The Invisible Wounds Initiative, an @AFW2 Support Program, leads in creating… https://t.co/4SeYhlQuua
Twitter
Maggie Gee and Hazel Ying Lee were two of the first Chinese-American aviators to join the Women Airforce Service Pi… https://t.co/txl43oLLRs
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: Listen to SrA Francis Andrew, assigned to the 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing, tell his story as one of the 'Lost Boys of Sudan.…
Twitter
#ICYMI Aircraft loaded with #COVID19 supplies left @Travis60AMW, California, bound for India. This shipment was jus… https://t.co/YdYFniZyok
Twitter
“While there are a lot of people who have done great things in the #AirForce, we wanted to recognize diversity and… https://t.co/bTH2aP5emk
Twitter
“It is a real honor, and I wish I could be there in person,”@GenCQBrownJr said during his acceptance speech. “I’d r… https://t.co/DH5Ou832K5
Twitter
RT @RealAFOSI: 1/ OSI's Guam based Detachment 602 recently spent time strengthening relationships throughout the Commonwealth of the North…
Twitter
RT @grandslamwing: Mobilizing to assist - anywhere, anytime. Members from #TeamAUAB aboard a C-17 from @TeamCharleston took off to assist t…
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: .@HiAirGuard Airmen deployed to California to participate in exercise Sentinel Response 2021 alongside @CalGuard Airmen a…
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr and @cmsaf_official discuss the best ways to help Airmen's talent to bloom. #Airmen #Questionshttps://t.co/GGDHJkiOOb
Twitter
Airmen at the 149th Fighter Wing, Texas, demonstrated an autonomous machine solution for an @AFWERX innovation init… https://t.co/5ZGnnOPfYi
Twitter
During a quarterly senior leader review, @KesselRunAF & @USAF_ACC leaders agreed the Air Operations Center Weapon S… https://t.co/FnXQYIiG86
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: #PublicServiceRecognitionWeek starts today! This is a chance to acknowledge the civil servants who dedicate themselves t…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,346,619
Follow Us