McEntire Joint National Guard Base Airshow 2017

McENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE AIRSHOW 2017

COLUMBIA, SC

06-07MAY2017

BY RICHARD JACK-JAMES

The second air show within less than a week of Marine Air Corps Station Beaufort which was in Beaufort, SC and my blood was pumping was pumping for the F-22 Raptor and of course the foreign participator our Canadian neighbours from the north, ehh, the Royal Canadian Airforce CF-18 demo team which is currently sporting the 150th Commemorative in a bright red paint scheme 1867-2017 with the maple left painted on the back of the CF-18.

I left a little later than expected from the hotel I was just tired and worn out, and arrived in Eastover, South Carolina by 8am if that later avoiding the air show crowd and get closer to the fence to witness the awesome power of military and civilian performers. My friends were already there waiting and they held a spot for me in the line so we can all get into the show together and secured a spot and sit and take pictures together as a
group.

As usual they were missing few static due to operational requirements but that didn’t hamper us from catch as much of the static before the crowds came in. The main goal was to see the T-50, trainer which will be soon replacing the US Airforce trainer aircrafts. This was my first time attending this show since it is not held quite regularly, so shooting was a little different than most air shows, where the aerobatic box was a little further out from the crowd and some of the pictures were taken with the sun in front of us,
causing them to be backlit.

When the star of the show the Royal Canadian Airforce CF-18, we noticed that it wasn’t the Canadian Commemorative Red Paint scheme aircraft but the back-up aircraft, so I decided to take to twitter and find out what happened, they posted an official statement saying they had some mechanical issues and the jet would be back in service next week. That was a very huge disappointment, never less, they put on a great demonstration on the capabilities of the CF-18 and with that I looked forward was the combined arms demo, the F-22 Raptor and the F-16s display along with the AH-64s, UH-60s, M1A1
Abrams, 155mm howitzer.

Later during the show, the combined arms demo, wow I must say I was very intrigued by it and how it plays a crucial role on how wars are fought or when rescuing a downed airman. The F-16s were called in to suppress the enemy, once finished the AH-64s were called for close are support while the army M1A1 tanks with the US Army Apaches provided cover as the Calvary/Infantry were called to provide security and the UH-60 pilots to rescue the downed pilot, from the HLZ.

Once the combined arms demo was completed, the 4 F-16s flew creating a huge Wall of fire, signalling the end of the show, it was such a magnificent ending.

I must say this was a very impressive air show, with the few things they had and no major performers like the US Airforce Thunderbirds or the US Navy Blue Angels. I was quite pleased and now unto my next adventure Switzerland and Germany!!

Stay tuned as I will be posting pictures from my European vacation blog.

 

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~RJJ~

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