Sequestration: Brevard Last Hurrah For Thunderbirds

By  //  March 24, 2013

Cuts Result In Program's Cancellation

Since their formation in 1953, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds have performed before 390 million people. (Image courtesy of U.S. Air Force)

(VIDEO: RocAirShow)

BREVARD COUNTY • TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA – This weekend’s appearance at the Tico Warbirds Air Show in Brevarde County may be the final performance ever for the United States Air Force Thunderbirds.

U.S. Air Force and Air Combat Command officials have canceled aerial demonstration team performances to include the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds past April 1 as a result of the sequestration and without other shows on the schedule in March, the Tico Warbirds Air Show on March 22 to 24 may be the last ever for the precision aerial team.

Because of sequestration, all aerial demonstrations by the U.S Air Force Thunderbirds will be grounded following their appearance at the Tico War Birds Air Show this month in Brevard County. (Image courtesy of US. Air Force)

A press release issued Monday by the Air Force says the decision enables Air Combat Command to reallocate flying hours to combat readiness training, which will provide  more sorties for combat readiness and deployment commitments.

Cutting the Thunderbirds budget will ensure strategic air defense forces are ready to meet the challenges of peacetime air sovereignty and wartime air defense, according to the press release.

The Thunderbirds were scheduled to perform more than 60 demonstrations at 38 locations between March and November, demonstrating the capabilities of airmen and supporting Air Force recruiting efforts.

Lt Col. Greg Moseley, U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron commander/leader, said the squadron’s mission will continue, even though the 130-person team will not be traveling after March.

The Thunderbirds are headquartered at Nellis Air Force Base near Las Vegas, Nev. and perform aerobatic formation and solo flying in specially marked F-16 aircraft.

The 36th annual three-day Tico Warbirds airshow will run from March 22 to 24 and will be dedicated to the famous B-17 Flying Fortress and the 70th anniversary of the “Memphis Belle” reaching 25 missions.

Along with the Thunderbirds, some 75 to 80 vintage aircraft will be on display and flying in the show, such as the P-40 Warhawk, P-47 Thunderbolt, P-51 Mustang, F-8 Crusader, Grumman Wildcat, Avenger, F-4U Corsair, B-17, B-25s and many more.

In addition, mock reinactments of World War II battles will be featured at then airshow, as well as vendors, exhibits and displays.

There will be opportunities for the public to ride in a vintage C-47 aircraft that actually flew in the Normandy invasion during World War II. There also will be helicopter and bi-plane rides offered.

Along with family entertainment, there will be an antique automobile show, lots to see, warbird photography available, combat pilots to talk to and vendors to visit.

Gates open daily at 8:30 a.m. with the airshow itself starting each day at 1 p.m.

There will be entertainment, an antique automobile show, lots to see, warbirds to photograph, combat pilots to talk to, vendors to visit and mock battles to watch.

Advance tickets are on sale at or at the Warbird Museum at 6600 Tico Road in Titusville.

For more information, call 321-268-1941 or send an e-mail to


  1. I feel a deep honor that I was able to see the USAF Thunderbirds several times before the Sequestration grounded them. They will fly in my heart and memories forever!!!!

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