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Thanks team for a great air show!

  • Published
  • By Col. David Almand
  • 375th Air Mobility Wing commander
We did it! We had a fantastic air show with 95,000 community members joining us for the two-day extravaganza, and I couldn't be more proud of how everyone came together to execute a flawless event!

I've received so much positive feedback from the community and our air show performers about how much they enjoyed Scott AFB's hospitality, and that's all thanks to the thousands of details that you all tackled throughout the last year ... right up until air show weekend.

There are so many people to thank, but a special shout out goes to Maj. Thomas Knaust, the air show director, for leading the way, and to Lt. Col. Randy Naylor who served as his deputy director and air ops director. Another huge area for leadership was with ground operations, which covers a wide variety of responsibilities and logistics, which was the task of Capt. Michelle Sterling who recently arrived to the base. From security forces to logistics to our first responders to our medics, you all did an outstanding job!

I want to give a special shout out to the hundreds of volunteers and augmentees who put up fence lines, performed a FOD walk on the flightline after each day's show, served us food, directed traffic, provided transportation and more! It takes an entire team to make an event like this work, and your professionalism ensured we did it "Showcase" style.

We had some terrific sponsors this year who assisted us with vehicles and lodging, as well as extra funding. Our budget was basically half of what it has been in previous years, but thanks to generous donors--both individuals and corporate--we still lined up a thrilling show. Members of the Scott Heritage Air Park have been instrumental in securing funds not only for the air show but for other events as well--all while working to bring the air park right outside our Shiloh Gate from a vision to reality.

What I enjoyed most is seeing the reactions from the crowd as the aircraft flew overhead. There were squeals of delight and yes...even tears shed as the song "God Bless America" sounded while the Thunderbirds passed by in formation. There were smiles from veterans and children dressed in mini-flight suits--I even saw one youngster in an astronaut outfit . . . now that's "Aiming High!" I like their enthusiasm, and I must admit that watching the Thunderbirds never ceases to amaze me! You really get a feel for how mentally and physically fit you have to be and their skills are impressive.

I believe we accomplished our goals to share with everyone a little bit about our mission here and to display what the American people have invested in throughout the years with their tax dollars. We are held accountable for our stewardship over these resources and they must be able to trust us to defend our country when called upon. From the feedback I heard and read online, I know we accomplished that. How can you not be proud as those F-16s flash by in their low passes with their afterburners on? That sound is both scary for our adversaries and a relief for the men and women on the front lines.

Now as we close the chapter on this event, we look forward to focusing on our Consolidated Unit Inspection including our Operational Readiness Inspection for June 2013. We have a well-planned out road to achieve excellence that begins with our wing training days--which is today. The base's patience with us as we set time aside to prepare has helped--and continues to assist us. I'll speak to this more in the coming weeks, but I just wanted to take this time before we launch full speed ahead on the ORI course to acknowledge the many people who've made the 2012 Airpower Over the Midwest air show a truly great one to remember!