Aircraft begin arriving for Thunder – F-22 to highlight airshow

Story by Maj. Dale Greer, 123rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs

120418-F-VT419-078

A crew chief for the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demo Team provides direction for a pilot as the aircraft arrives at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on April 18, 2012, in preparation for this weekend’s 22nd annual Thunder Over Louisville air show. The Raptor is the U.S. military’s premier fighter aircraft, with capabilities that are unmatched by any other plane. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

 Click here for more photos!

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Military aircraft for this weekend’s Thunder Over Louisville Air Show arrived at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base today, including the U.S. Air Force Raptor F-22 Demonstration Team — one of the show’s marquee attractions.

Thunder 2012 is slated to feature more than 25 current military planes and helicopters from the U.S. Armed Services and Canadian military, as well as variety of historic war birds. Highlights include the F-22 Raptor, a B-2 Stealth Bomber and F/A-18 Hornets. A special segment of the air show program will highlight Marine Corps aircraft in recognition of the Corps’ 100th year of flying operations. The United States Marine Corps began its aviation program on May 22, 1912.

The Kentucky Air Guard will once again serve as the operating base for military aircraft featured in Thunder, providing logistical, security and maintenance support for one of the largest single-day air shows in North America.

120418-F-VT419-022

News reporters interview Maj. Henry Schantz, commander of the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team, at the Kentucky Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Ky., on April 18, 2012. Schantz, who is based at Langley Air Force Base, Va., will be piloting the F-22 in Louisville’s 22nd annual Thunder Over Louisville air show, to be held along the banks of the Ohio River on April 21. The Raptor is the U.S. military’s premier fighter aircraft, with capabilities that are unmatched by any other plane. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Maj. Dale Greer)

“It’s always an honor for us to support this event, which is now in its 22nd year and has become one of the most successful air shows in the nation,” said Capt. Josh Ketterer, Thunder coordinator for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Airlift Wing.

“For the past 21 years, the 123rd Airlift Wing has consistently provided a high level of service to the community and a high level of hospitality to our visiting air crews andmaintainers during Thunder. This year will be no different.We know our efforts allow hundreds of thousands of people to see the nation’s military aircraft up close, whether they’re watching them in person along the riverfront or tuning in to the live telecast.”

The Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Special Tactics Squadron will kick off the air show Saturday when four pararescuemen are scheduled to parachute out of a Kentucky C-130 Hercules aircraft and land in the Ohio River, where they will be recovered by other members of the special tactics team.

About kentuckyguard