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NEWS | Nov. 21, 2006

Fighter planes to flex their muscle at AirFest 2006

By Linda Frost 37th Training Wing Public Affairs

The Air Combat Command A-10 and F-15 East Coast Demonstration Teams will display the capabilities of their aircraft at the Lackland AirFest on Saturday and Sunday at Kelly Field. The event is free and open to the public.

Gates are open both days from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The ACC's demo teams perform precision aerial maneuvers, demonstrating the unique capabilities of the Air Force's fighter aircraft. Demo team members also exhibit the professional qualities the Air Force develops in the people who fly, maintain and support these aircraft.

The A-10 Thunderbolt II Demo Team is located at Pope AFB, N.C. The demo pilot is Captain Jeff "Roadie" Yost. The A-10 is one of the operational fighters from the 23rd Fighter Group at Pope AFB. The F-15 Demo Team is located at Langley AFB, Va. The demo pilot is Maj. Jason "Bondo" Costello. The F-15 Eagle is one of the operational fighters from the 1st Fighter Wing, Langley AFB, Va.

"When we are flying at an air show, we bring our teams in advance to interact with the community for several reasons: To positively affect recruiting and retention; to keep people informed about military preparedness; to demonstrate the tactical capabilities of the Air Force fighter aircraft; to promote community relations; and to demonstrate our professional competence, enhancing the public's understanding of Air Force capabilities," said Lt. Col. Bill Edwards, promoter of the East Coast demonstration teams. "These fighter pilots and their crews defend our freedom all over the globe.

At AirFest, the demonstration teams will be performing a number of aerobatic maneuvers designed to show the American public the capabilities of not only the aircraft, but also the incredible execution of dedicated, courageous Airmen," said Colonel Edwards, who is also an F-16 instructor pilot.