Leader Blues

Friday, August 01, 2008

TOP STORY > >Base readies for air show

Little Rock Air Force Base’s open house is set for Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 18 and 19 and is open to the public.

The Navy’s premier aerial-demonstration team, the Blue Angels, will highlight this year’s show, which boasts a “combat airlift” theme.

Also performing at the open house will be the Army’s top parachute team, The Golden Knights. The T-28 Warbird Formation/Acro Team, also known as “Trojan Horseman,” will perform their amazing acrobatics overhead. Another ground act, Shockwave — a jet truck that has a record speed of 376 miles per hour on a mile-long runway — will also be performing.

The base’s open house — more commonly known as “air show” — is the largest single spectator event in the state of Arkansas, attracting people from not only around the state, but from adjoining states as well, and is the largest open house in the mid-South.

The Blue Angels performed at the 2006 open house and more than 250,000 spectators were in attendance.

This year’s show is expected to be even bigger.

The open house gives the base the opportunity to showcase its mission as the world’s largest C-130 training base and dazzle spectators with amazing aerial and ground events from all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces from varying eras.

In what is known as a “combat capabilities” exercise, our own C-130 aircraft will show what they do in combat: paratroopers will jump in an exciting display of military power and they’ll drop heavy equipment and other cargo.

Five hours of flying and military-related entertainment for attendees will be at available at this year’s super-charged two-day air show/open house.

Visitors can see static displays of military aircraft up close and speak with the crews that fly them.

Also available for spectators to participate in will be the Army’s “Virtual Army Experience,” employing teamwork, rules of engagement leadership and high-tech equipment in a virtual Army mission.

Souvenir, food and information booths will also be available. As always, admission and parking are free.

For everyone’s safety, all visitors and their vehicles will be subject to search.

No coolers, pets or backpacks are allowed at the open house. Due to limited parking, RVs will not be allowed on base.

Little Rock Air Force Base is located off Hwy. 67/167 at the Jacksonville exit, Exit 11, marked LRAFB. Gates will open at 8:30 a.m. and close at 4:30 p.m.