ARIZONA NEWS

Air Force Thunderbirds to open show season at Glendale’s Luke AFB

Jan 20, 2022, 6:23 AM
(U.S. Air Force Photo)...
(U.S. Air Force Photo)
(U.S. Air Force Photo)

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. — The Thunderbirds, the U.S. Air Force’s aerial demonstration squadron, have begun a monthlong training trip to Arizona and New Mexico in preparation for their 2022 show season.

The Thunderbirds’ show schedule begins March 19 at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale and ends at Nellis Air Force Base in the Las Vegas area Nov. 5-6.

The unit based at Nellis arrived last week at the New Mexico Spaceport near Truth or Consequences for two weeks of training and will then shift to Fort Huachuca, an Army base in Sierra Vista, for the second training leg.

Training is not open to the public, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.

“These two locations are excellent training environments, each serving different purposes,” said Lt. Col. Justin Elliott, Thunderbirds commander and leader.

“The show season subjects the team to difficult and ever-changing environments both in the air and on the ground. Training in new and different environments will allow the team to exercise the necessary muscles to ensure our demonstration is precise despite changing conditions.”

After training, the team will continue to sharpen their skills with the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, at Naval Air Facility El Centro in California.

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Air Force Thunderbirds to open show season at Glendale’s Luke AFB