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23 JULY 2010


Stars Shine at the McChord Field Expo


Two freshly painted "Green Dragons" (F-15 and F-106) sporting the 318 FISs "Northstar" tailflash made their debut at the 2010 McChord Field Airshow. Also on display on the McChord ramp was the recently restored SA-10, the other Museum aircraft were available for viewing on Heritage Hill.


Patriots wow crowd -

Huge crowds witness annual two-day show

Rick Wood/Northwest Guardian - July 22nd, 2010 

 An estimated 240,000 people saw the show. An estimated crowd of nearly 240,000 people gazed skyward last weekend — in awe of the many aerobatic stunts and fast-moving aircraft racing overhead during the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Air Expo 2010.

The two-day aviation extravaganza brought droves of civilian and military families to McChord Field to see demonstrations of jet fighters, helicopters, vintage and modern aerobatic aircraft as well as static displays of NASA, Army, Marine, Navy, Air Force and foreign military aircraft and vehicles. Canadian Air Force CH-124 “Sea King” helicopter crew chief Sergeant Jon Volf said being part of the Air Expo was a memorable experience.

“We’ve had a good time,” Volf said. “Everyone has treated us really well.” The chance to be around so many different types of aircraft and U.S. forces is unbeatable, he said. The anti-submarine helicopter was open for visitors to walk through, and Volf was on hand to answer questions.“It’s nice to come here and show off our equipment,” Volf said.

Prior to the kickoff of aerial demonstrations, nearly 200 Air Force Delayed-Entry-Program recruits gathered near the control tower to be sworn into the service by 62nd Airlift Wing Commander Col. Kevin Kilb.“It’s wonderful to see them all out here,” Kilb said. “They are the future of our Air Force — our country.” It is admirable for young people to volunteer to serve and make a conscious effort to better themselves, he said.

Kilb said he looked forward to the Air Expo performances and was glad to see the large crowd at McChord Field.“It’s looking great,” Kilb said. “They’ve got a good show in store.”One recruit, Melanie Porterfield, 17, who attends Onalaska High School, south of Olympia, said being a part of the mass swearing-in was a good experience.“It’s pretty cool,” Porterfield said.

“There are a lot more people than I thought there would be.”Major Chris Kirk of the 4th Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, said crew members had a good time while having one of the elite unit’s MH-47 Chinooks on display.“It feels good to bring the aircraft out and to tell people about what we do,” Kirk said. Though many of the unit’s missions are too sensitive to publicize, visitors were mainly curious about the aircraft and its armament, he said.

Cloud cover pushed back the start time until 12:30 but the wait was worthwhile when the opening act, a simulated airfield assault, started the dramatic show.

A thunderous fireball exploded hundreds of feet into the air as two A-10s made a “strafing” pass over the simulated enemy. A UH-1N Huey helicopter flew a team of forward air controllers into the airfield as an AH-1G Cobra gunship provided cover. A flight of three C-17 Globemaster aircraft flew over the airfield, dropping cargo and 16 paratroopers in the simulated assault.

I Corps Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Grippe was the first one out the door, hitting the ground safely, flanked by Rangers from 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment. As the sun burned off the cloud cover, spectators watched demonstrations by pilots of biplanes, vintage jet fighters and World War II aircraft.

From the applause, Smoke-n-Thunder Jet Car racer Tim Weber obviously thrilled the crowd in his GEICO Extra stunt plane. A special treat for July 17 visitors was the flyover of a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber. Miss Mill Creek, Lele Tian, said she had never before seen anything like the aerial demonstrations. “I can’t believe they can fly like that,” Tian said. The Patriot Jets aerobatic team closed the show on both days with its death-defying maneuvers and high-speed passes. All four of the jets formed up for a low-level pass through a wall of flame that elicited gasps from the crowd.

Museum Aircraft At the Show 
F-106 Delta Dart  
F-15A Eagle 
SA-10A Catalina  
Website provided and maintained by:
The McChord Air Museum Foundation
P.O. Box 4205
JBLM-McChord Field, WA. 98438-0205
e-mail - mamfound@mcchordairmuseum.org