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Thunderbirds set to return to Skyfest air show

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño/Released
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Janelle Patiño/Released

The acclaimed U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are set to fly through Fairchild Air Force Base this summer on July 29 and 30 for the famous Skyfest air show. The show will celebrate the 75th anniversary of Fairchild Air Force Base, the 70th anniversary of the U.S. Air Force and the 70th anniversary of the 92nd Air Refueling Wing.

This year’s Skyfest program will feature acts from the Thunderbirds, Wings of Blue, Jacquie B, Jim Bourke, and various military and civilian static displays and demonstrations.

Since the inception of the Thunderbirds team, only 325 officers have served as “America’s Ambassadors in Blue.” Teams are comprised of 12 officers, of whom eight are highly experienced fighter pilots, and tour throughout the world. Thunderbird applicants go through a rigorous screening process in order to make it to the team, where they serve a two-year tour.

The first open house at Fairchild was in 1948 to give back to the community in recognition of their years of support. This event continues to serve as an opportunity for Fairchild to invite the community to see their mission capabilities.

Fairchild has been in Spokane since 1940, when Spokane business leaders donated the land for what ultimately became the base. GSI, which at the time was the Spokane Area Chamber of Commerce, rallied the business community to purchase land surrounding the base, specifically for the creation of the Spokane Air Depot. Since its start, the base has benefited both the business community and the entire city of Spokane.

Fairchild Air Force base is in fact the largest single-site employer in Eastern Washington, employing 6,000 active and civilian employees with another 4,000 spouses and dependents. There are an additional 18,000 retirees within a 75-mile radius of the base. It has a regional economic impact of $1.4 billion each year, feeding into the revenues and success of businesses throughout our region.

With such an instrumental role in our business community, GSI actively supports our military personnel, and civilian contractors by advocating for the current and future mission priorities of Fairchild Air Force Base and other military operations in the area. Fairchild plays an irreplaceable role in our economy, impacting businesses throughout the region.

The Skyfest show at Fairchild is a chance for the public to see the base in action and thank our military personnel. Don’t miss your chance to attend this special, fun-filled event at Fairchild Air Force Base! This event is free to the public. For more information on Skyfest, visit Fairchild.af.mil/AirShow.

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