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Sequestration grounds USAF Thunderbirds display team

04 March 2013

The US Air Force (USAF) has stood down its Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team for the year, and has withdrawn its support from domestic and international public events as a cost-cutting measure in the face of sequestration, the service announced on 1 March.

The USAF will no longer support public events, such as military graduations, in an effort to save costs as a result of sequestration. This cost-saving effort will also see the service's Thunderbirds display team grounded until the end of the year at least. (US Air Force)The USAF will no longer support public events, such as military graduations, in an effort to save costs as a result of sequestration. This cost-saving effort will also see the service's Thunderbirds display team grounded until the end of the year at least. (US Air Force)

In a statement, the USAF said the Thunderbirds' entire 2013 season is to be cancelled beginning 1 April, and that, effective immediately, "active-duty, Reserve, and Guard units will cease all aviation support to the public", unless the event includes only local static assets. This includes all air shows, tradeshows, flyovers (including funerals and military graduations), orientation flights, heritage flights, F-22 demonstration flights, and open houses.



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