Military Wife Claims Barksdale Air Show Cancellation Decided Months Ago, US Air Force Thunderbirds Being Disbanded [UPDATED]
We were shocked this morning when we heard the news that the long-running Barksdale Air Show was canceled. It's been a staple of the Shreveport-Bossier City community for years. But if that wasn't bad enough, a woman claiming she was the wife of a Lt. Colonel in the U.S. military called into the show this morning with some more startling news related to the air show cancellation.
"My husband's in the military, and they actually got a letter from the commander two months ago that all air shows were canceled across the United States, the Thunderbirds are being disbanded and...there will be no more air shows for the duration of the Obama administration and there will be no more open houses on any bases anywhere," she said.
"In response to sequestration actions, the Air Force and Air Combat Command officials have canceled aerial demonstration team performances to include the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds past April 1," wrote Maj. Darrick B. Lee, a public relations spokesperson for the Thunderbirds.
"Sequestration temporarily limits our ability to travel, but it doesn’t stop us from reaching out within our community to tell the Air Force story,” said Lieutenant Col. Greg Moseley, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron commander/leader. “We still have an obligation to educate people about our great Air Force and the incredible things our Airmen do.”
The group didn't shut the door on future performances altogether, but for now will say it will put more of a focus on Air Force recruitment at high schools and universities.
We've reached out to the Thunderbirds for clarification on whether the group is actually being disbanded and will update this story when/if we receive a reply.
"No, there has been no direction to disband the Thunderbirds," US Air Force TSgt. Jacob A. Richmond tells KVKI. "Unfortunately, the sequester has caused us to curtail our show season plans beyond April 1st. If budget conditions change, we will immediately reevaluate our ability to perform air shows this year and post all relevant announcements on our website."
What do you think about the Barksdale Air Show's cancellation? Let us know in the comment section.