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    Thousands gather for return of 2023 Tinker Air Show

    Thousands gather for return of 2023 Tinker Air Show

    Photo By Paul Shirk | A member of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels uses a light gun during the Tinker Air Show at...... read more read more



    Story by Clayton Cummins 

    72nd Air Base Wing

    Summer heat did not stop an estimated 301,000 people from attending the 2023 Tinker Air Show and STEM City Expo, held here July 1 and 2, 2023.

    The Tinker Air Show returned after COVID-19 precautions forced the cancellation of the 2021 air show.

    Families from across Oklahoma and beyond spent their Fourth of July holiday weekend with eyes to the sky, ready to witness United States military air capabilities in action and meet the service members who fly and maintain the equipment.

    “I am thrilled with this year’s turnout,” said Lt. Col. Kyle Moats, commander of the 72nd Operations Support Squadron and the air show’s director. “It is great to see Oklahomans back on the flight line after four long years enjoying the air power offered by the United States Air Force.”

    The aerial performers lineup included the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the Blue Angels’ Fat Albert C-130J support aircraft, the Air Force’s F-35A Demo Team, C-17 Globemaster III, E-3 Sentry AWACS, KC-135 Stratotanker, Wings of Blue skydiving team, Tora Tora Tora World War II reenactment, Red Tail P-51, Kent Pietsch's Jelly Belly Interstate Cadet, F-35A & F-5 heritage flight, KC-135 Low-Level Refueling Demonstration, Matt Younkin's Twin Beech 18, Adam Baker's Extra 330, and Greg Colyer's T-33A Shooting Star.

    In addition to performances, dozens of aircraft stood parked on the flight line for attendees to get an up-close and personal look.

    Static ground displays included the F-35A Lightning II, F-22A Raptor, U.S. Navy E-6B Mercury, B-1B Lancer, B-2 Spirit, B-52H Stratofortress, KC-46A Pegasus, KC-135 Stratotanker, MC-12W Liberty, T-38 Talon and the XQ-58A Valkyrie unmanned aerial vehicle.

    “Air power doesn’t care where you grew up, the color of your skin, or who you love,” said Col. Hall Sebren, Tinker Installation commander. “Air power cares about who can produce it. Anybody can! That is why we want to reach out and talk to the youngest kids who might be thinking about air power like I did when I was a kid and went to my first air show.”

    The theme of the 2023 Tinker Air Show was “STEM Takes Flight.” A wide variety of exhibits were available in the STEM CITY hangar at the northwestern end of the air show grounds, filled with dozens of fun activities for all ages.

    Visitors explored robotics, drone technology and learned about the technology that Tinker employs on a daily basis to deliver air power for America.

    Recruiters, including those from the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, were on hand to speak to the public about careers with the United States Air Force. Qualified candidates were offered preliminary job offers on site.

    "Maybe you have a job right now that you enjoy but you are looking for a higher calling,” said Sebren. “There are options out there if you want to be associated with airplanes and air power. We can take you, from 5-years-old to 95-years-old.”

    The public did not have to physically attend the Tinker Air Show to get in on the action. For the second time, the Tinker Air Show was streamed live on the internet via the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service and Facebook. At its peak, the Facebook Live stream allowed thousands to watch in real time.

    The live broadcast was courtesy of the 2nd Audiovisual Squadron of Hill Air Force Base in Salt Lake City and the 3rd Audiovisual Squadron of Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas.

    Plans are already underway to bring a bigger and better air show to Tinker for 2025.

    Like Tinker Air Force Base on Facebook or follow @TeamTinker on Twitter for all the latest information and air show updates.


    Date Taken: 07.21.2023
    Date Posted: 07.25.2023 12:12
    Story ID: 449945

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