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AAFB airshow demonstrates airpower to local community

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Kayla Christenson
  • 97th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

The Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, community gathered to enjoy “Red River Thunder” Oct. 1, 2022, the first airshow hosted at AAFB in five years.

The airshow featured 14 performers, 28 static aircraft, and immersive science, technology, education and mathematics exhibits for more than 20,000 attendees.

Col. Blaine Baker, 97th Air Mobility Wing commander, said there were many motivating factors behind the airshow.

"This airshow demonstrated not only our airpower capabilities and our joint partnerships,” he said. “Most of all, it gave us a chance to give back to the community that has given us so much."

Maj. Cary Reeves, the airshow director, added that the event also gave attendees the chance to learn more about the 97th AMW mission.

"Our airshow provided Altus AFB a unique opportunity,” he said “We got to welcome our entire region to an event celebrating the military and airpower, promote our critical mission of providing mobility Airmen ready to tackle tough missions across the globe, and say thank you to our community for their support. We also got to do it in a family-friendly way that celebrates the wonder of human flight."

Reeves added that, along with giving back to the community, it was important for younger generations to be inspired by what they saw at Red River Thunder.

“Our graduates and Airmen leave Altus and change the world. Our community needs to know how important their support is to our Air Force and our nation,” he said. “Airshows are also an important place for the next generation to be inspired to take up the torch and carry this mission into the future.”

Baker echoed Reeves’ gratitude and the importance of connecting the community to the Airmen and mission of AAFB - an installation that turned 80 years old this year. 

"What better way to say 'thank you' than to demonstrate the many ways that America projects airpower, both past and present. I hope that every attendee got the chance to have a fun, safe day with their friends and families while learning more about who we are and what we're made of."

According to Reeves, the “Mighty 97th” will likely try to host another airshow in 2024 or 2025.

To see all the photos from the Red River Thunder airshow please visit https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjA9zEJ.