SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. —
Team Scott hosted an estimated 60,000 attendees at the Scott AFB Air Show and STEM Expo, May 13 and 14, 2023.
Patriotic and excited fans lined the streets on and off base, eagerly waiting to witness the stacked list of performers. The line-up consisted of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, Tora Tora Tora, Red Bull Team Chambliss, F-22 Demo Team, Randy Ball’s MiG-17, the P-51 Heritage Flight and the United States Air Force Academy Wings of Blue parachute team.
Attendees also had opportunities to view static displays and presentations by Airmen and other military branches. This included reserve units, Tactical Air Control Party, airplane simulators and interactive displays.
“I think it’s huge to have a hand within the community,” explains Senior Master Sgt. Jeffrey Madden, U.S. Air Force Reserve flight chief. Madden said shows like this helps let the community know, “… why we’re here, our operations, what we do and why our aircraft are flying around, letting people see the big picture.”
While Saturday was cut short due to weather conditions, the Blue Angels were able to adjust their Sunday schedule and continue with a show-stopping performance on Sunday. Using an aircraft hangar, Airmen were also able to provide shelter, medical attention and supplies for those who were caught in Saturday’s thunderstorm.
Team Scott also paid it forward to the next generation of leaders interested in going into STEM career fields. Part of the STEM Expo featured a ‘recruiting village’ composed of career fields around base. Specific career fields and special duty personnel were able to educate community members as well as future Airmen about opportunities the military offers, through interactive games and exhibits.
Lt. Col. Adam Wallace, the airshow director, expressed the importance of having an airshow and sparking excitement in children and families, bringing inspiration and patriotism into their lives.
“Those memories you make at the airshows–they matter. If we provide that moment to one child and inspire service in them, mission accomplished,” said Wallace.
Other show highlights included the host wing commander, Col. Chris Robinson, jumping with the Wings of Blue, recognition of Air Force forever and gold star families, highlighting local surviving POWs, and two colors performances by the Team Scott Honor Guard. The Band of Mid America also provided charismatic performances for the audience, along with a performance by the U.S. Navy ceremonial guard. Members from the local delayed entry program were given the rare opportunity to swear into the military at the show, while other service members were able to reenlist at the same time.
A great deal of the past weekend’s success is owed to the hard work that went on behind the scenes. Whether it was ground logistics teams organizing layouts, or medical and security forces keeping everyone safe, Team Scott worked around the clock to make sure every aspect of the event went smoothly. Airmen took on extra responsibilities outside of their daily jobs to get the details right.
Hundreds of partners on and off base have been working together since 2021 to start planning every detail of this massive community event. Opening the gates to a military base allows the public to see how the Air Force is able to get the mission done, and showcase the hard work of the men and women who serve. Airshows are able to both benefit the public with information and pride, while simultaneously letting military members get recognition for their forcible efforts.