March Air & Space Expo 2018

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shelby Horn

March Air Reserve Base held its airshow, the March Field Air and Space Expo, this weekend, April 7-8, 2018. The show honored the base’s 100th anniversary, along with the 70th anniversary of the Air Force Reserve.

“Thanks for joining us for our 100 year celebration,” said Col. Matthew Burger, 452nd Air Mobility Wing commander. “It’s my privilege to be the base commander during a time we get to celebrate 70 years of Air Force Reserve services. Secondly March Field is celebrating its 100th anniversary, which is truly a testament to the men and women who are assigned this historic base.”

March Air Reserve Base, originally March Field, was established in 1918 and is one of the oldest airfields operated by United States military. Since its involvement in World War 1, March Air Reserve Base has and will continue to be a staple of southern California history.

The show featured many static aircraft displays that showcased the Air Force’s air power inventory. The displays, ranging from the C-5M Super Galaxy, to the F-35 Lightning II, were parked alongside fully restored vintage planes from wars past, showing the growth of the Air Force since its inception in 1947.

Highlights of the show included performances by the Golden Knights, the U.S. Army Parachute Team, a flyover and simulated bombing by the B-2 Spirt, and simulated aerial dog fights. March’s own C-17 Globemaster III and KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft frequently took to the skies for demonstrations as well.

“We especially thank our local community and our event sponsors, this event would not exist without your amazing contributions,” said Maj. Gen. Randall Ogden, 4th Air Force commander. “Riverside, Moreno Valley, Perris, Hemet, Corona, they all came to our aid putting this show together. Many of these communities have been with us since the beginning of this base, back in 1918. It was a vision of community leaders 100 years ago that fought to bring this air power to the Inland Empire.”

The air show was originally slated to have performances by the Thunderbirds, the U.S. Air Force’s Air Demonstration Team, until an aircraft mishap on April 4th in Las Vegas, Nev., led to the death of Maj. Stephen Del Bagno, Slot Pilot Thunderbird 4. The Thunderbirds canceled their appearance as a result.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our Thunderbirds team,” said Burger. “Our most sincere condolences go out to the team and their families.”

Last year’s air show saw over 400,000 spectators. The attendance of this year’s air show will be totaled following the conclusion of the show.