2014 Holloman AFB Open House

  • Published
  • By Lt. Col. Shawn Anger
  • 7th Fighter Squadron, commander

It is with great pleasure that I officially announce the return of the F-22 Raptor Demonstration team to Holloman for the May 10 Open House.  This year, there are two performances for the community during the one-day show.

After missing virtually all of last year due to sequestration, Capt. John "Taboo" Cummings has officially taken the reigns of the team from Maj. Henry "Schadow" Shantz, and the performance has never looked better!  Although many of the maneuvers you will see during the show are considered almost routine for a combat-Raptor pilot...they are never performed so low to the ground.  As an "old guy" in the jet myself, I'm still amazed when I see what my Raptor can do first hand.  I'm proud to have been a part of the Raptor community for past 10 years, ensuring good old fashioned Air Dominance for America.

In concert with this year's F-22 demonstration, we are also extremely fortunate to have the Air Force Heritage Flight team along to perform dissimilar flyovers with our current fighter aircraft.  Joining Capt. Cummings will be an F-16 from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and two World War II-era warbirds:  the P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang.  This formation represents over 70 years of American ingenuity and firepower. 

I would like to take a moment to educate everyone on our heritage flight program.  Since 1997, the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation has provided this unique opportunity at over 40 events annually.  What most people don't realize is these performances come at no cost to the military or our taxpayers.  Two weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure of accompanying Col. Andy Croft, 49th Wing commander, to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., for the annual heritage flight training course.  It is during this week that all heritage pilots assemble to practice aerial events, ensuring a safe show for the upcoming year.  Although hosted annually by Davis-Monthan, the entire bill for the training is picked up by the foundation. 

The foundation was started by American entrepreneur and billionaire Mr. Thomas Friedkin and is carried on by his son, Dan Friedkin.  Both gentlemen are pilots themselves and have a deep respect for our military personnel and the sacrifices made by them each and every day.  It is purely due to their generosity that we are able to provide these heritage demonstrations.  As you witness this unique display of Air Force heritage, please take the opportunity to thank the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation team for their continued support of our military and our outreach to the community.  You can view their story at www.airforceheritageflight.org.

In addition to the Raptor demonstration and heritage flight, Holloman will also feature the base's other aircraft, to include the MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper, German Air Force Tornado, and our newest arrival, the F-16 Fighting Falcon (aka Viper).  Additional static displays at the event include the P-40 Warhawk, P-80 Shooting Star, B-17 Flying Fortress and a B-25 Mitchell.  A host of other Air Force aircraft, past and present, will also be on display. Ground demonstrations highlight many other critical Air Force functions, to include an Explosive Ordnance Disposal demo and the Holloman Air Force Base Steel Talons Honor Guard. Information about the Holloman Air Force Base Open House can be found on our website at www.holloman.af.mil and check back soon for an expanded, detailed webpage about the show.