WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Highlighting the largest and most diverse air force training installation, Sheppard Air Force Base is hosting Guardians of Freedom open house & air show until Sunday afternoon.
About 30,000 people from both near and far attended the air show Saturday to witness about ten aerial performers making the most of their craft. Public Affairs Officer And Second Lieutenant Megan Morrissey says they’re glad they can provide this show to allow a glimpse at what goes on behind the base’s gates.
“The community sees our jets flying all the time and they see our airmen walking downtown, so it’s just great to show them what we do,” Morrissey said.
The show includes U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the F-22 Raptor Demo Team and Heritage Flight, and Wings Of Blue Parachute team from the Air Force Academy. Civilian acts include the Trojan Phlyers, Red Bull Air Force, Fighter Jets, Doc’s B-29, and the fun Jelly Belly Comedy Air Act. And the displays of precision and professionalism by these American Airmen are first taught right here at Sheppard in their training courses.
“So combat capabilities starts here. Every air craft that’s in the air force right now has Sheppard footprints because we train all the maintainers. And we also train the pilots through undergraduate pilot training also fighter fundamentals,” Morrissey said.
And after that training, their hard work is put to the test when needed, with the exception for fun, public airshows like that of Guardians Of Freedom.
“It’s really exciting, you know. being an air-force family this isn’t our first air show but they’re always really fun and really exciting,” Wife Of Pilot In Show Jessica Van Bockel said.
And possibly inspire another generation of thrill-seekers.
“I think it’s important for people to interact with military members and understand what we do and understand other opportunities they may be able to seek down the road,” SAFB Student Ian Bollinger
The free event is an opportunity to see the incredible acts featuring some of America’s heroes in the air and on the ground.