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    Roads to Runways: Beale's Inaugural Auto Expo

    Beale Auto Expo

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Shaei Rodriguez | Thousands attend the Beale Auto Expo May 18, 2024, at Beale Air Force Base,...... read more read more



    Story by Airman 1st Class Colin Smith 

    9th Reconnaissance Wing

    The California sun beamed down as 428 cars poured onto the Beale AFB flight line on May 18, 2024. Eager guests showed up early, forming lines at the entrance waiting for the first ever Beale Auto Expo to begin.

    The Auto Expo provided a unique open house opportunity for Beale AFB to invite the local community onto base. It also showed Beale’s infrastructure as capable of handling the much-anticipated 2025 airshow.

    "The Auto Expo was a wonderful opportunity to connect with our community,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Geoffrey Church, 9th Reconnaissance Wing commander. “Thank you to everyone who participated and to those who contributed their time and effort. Team Beale is honored to serve and collaborate with our local partners.”

    The day was full of exciting moments. Alongside the cars, planes and vendors, the expo included an opening ceremony with remarks from Col. Church, followed by the national anthem sung by Karen Meeks Johnson, Mrs. California America 2022 and 2024. The rest of the day was full of music played by Terell Love, also known as DJ TKLove, 9th Logistic Readiness Squadron government purchasing officer, as well as announcements by Ann Spade, master of ceremony.

    The crowd of over 8,000 walked, perused vendors, and witnessed mission showcases from units across Beale AFB. Mission booths included representation from the Army National Guard, Air Force Recruiting Service, the 821st Contingency Response Squadron, and various base organizations. The local police and fire stations also provided units to showcase their automotive power and prove how “Auto Expo” is an all-encompassing term.

    The Auto Expo boasted 579 cars altogether, including two car collections. Those collections, one a Porsche collection, the other, an array of high end super cars, sat amongst a T-38 Talon and a Hawker Sea Fury.

    The Auto Expo also featured eighteen planes and two helicopters from various decades and services. Of these twenty aircraft, one U-2 Dragon Lady and two T-38 Talons were provided by the 9th Reconnaissance Wing and one KC-135 Stratotanker by the 940th Air Refueling Wing. The other sixteen were privately owned planes which flew in to show off their unique air capabilities.

    Each automobile provided something unique for the crowd to see, while the expo featured ten competitions for the cars to enter. The crowd gathered for the finalists of the loudest car competition. The winner of this competition clocked in at 121 decibels, beating out even a F-16 fighter jet which comes in at about 114 decibels.

    “The Beale Auto Expo is the culmination of over a year's worth of planning, negotiation, and struggle by a team of volunteers," said Senior Master Sgt. Victor Hayes, 553rd Intelligence Squadron chief mission management team. “Some didn't see the merit of such an event or believed it was impossible; the energy, effort, intellect, and grit of Beale AFB's Airmen and the slam-dunk success of the event have firmly proven this sentiment wrong. With the help of like-minded parties and a bit of serendipity, we accomplished what we set out to do: show that Beale AFB persistently keeps the local community's interests at the forefront of our minds and to place our base on the map as a premier location that people want to come to.”

    The Beale Auto Expo proved a perfect start to the summer for the members of our local communities who took the opportunity to be welcomed on base. Beale AFB is excited to open its gates again next summer to welcome the community back for the Beale Air and Space Expo.


    Date Taken: 05.20.2024
    Date Posted: 05.20.2024 17:42
    Story ID: 471794

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