U.S. Military Jet Teams Back in the Air

** U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds**

The Navy Blue Angels and U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are back. Their sequestration-driven hiatus from public performances is over, and the first performance will be a T-birds fly-over during the Tournament of Roses parade on New Year's Day in Pasadena, California. The Blue Angels will perform 68 demonstrations in 34 locations in 2014; and the Thunderbirds schedule calls for 66 performances in 34 locations — including two shows during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, on August 2 and 3.

Last year's airshow schedule was crippled by the late cancellation of performances by both teams due to a shutdown of funding from the government sequester. Not only were the two jet teams grounded, but U.S. government participation in airshows around the world was cut off as well. At the Paris Air Show, for example, no U.S. military aircraft performed.

Thunderbirds commander and lead pilot Lt. Col. Greg Moseley said, "We're glad to be back. But right now, we're focused on training. While we're excited to know we'll be able to tell the Air Force story on the road, we're completely focused on ensuring we have a safe show season."

The Blue Angels will make their 2014 debut on March 21-22 at March Air Reserve Base, Palmdale, California. Both teams' schedules include dates throughout the year into November.

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Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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