Air Force Week Showcases the Service’s People and Missions
By Alicia Garges , Space and Missile Systems Center Public Affairs
/ Published November 12, 2008
Los Angeles Air Force Base -- Aerial flyovers, military band concerts and Air Force-themed film festivals are planned for Air Force Week 2008 in Southern California - a week-long extravaganza showcasing the U.S. Air Force, its people and their mission. It will be held Nov. 14-21 with events throughout the region. All events, except for sports venues where the Air Force will be honored and band performances at area theme parks, are free and open to the public.
Air Force senior leadership had a vision to become more proactive in the way the Air Force communicates its story. That led to the idea of Air Force Weeks, which are designed to build new relationships in metropolitan areas, expose Americans to the incredible power of the U.S. Air Force, and strengthen support for Airmen serving worldwide in defense of freedom. St. Louis hosted the inaugural event in 2006. In addition to Los Angeles, Air Force Weeks were held in Philadelphia, Pa., and Omaha, Neb., in 2008. Each year, the Air Force considers new locations across the country to expand the reach of this program, and build new and lasting relationships in each metropolitan area.
"California is instrumental to air and space enterprises as indicated by an air and space economic impact in excess of $125 billion," said Gen. C. Robert Kehler, Air Force Space Command commander. "California has a long legacy of air and space 'firsts' including Capt. 'Chuck' Yeager breaking the 'sound barrier' in 1947 and building the first U.S. space station, Skylab I, and the first geosynchronous communication and meteorological satellites. California continues to lead the nation in technology and is a world leader in the development of future air and space capabilities. The Air Force has reaped tremendous benefits from California's air and space innovations, which help us daily to fly, fight, and win in air, space and cyberspace."
"It's an honor for us to host such an important event and I am excited to showcase our global Air Force missions to all of Southern California," said Lt. Gen. Tom Sheridan, Space and Missile Systems Center commander.
Air Force Week kicks off with a proclamation ceremony at Hollywood & Highland Center, located in the heart of Hollywood. The Air Force Honor Guard, U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West and an aerial review will be featured. Today's Airmen will also be honored at the event. The ceremony starts at 10:30 a.m.
Hollywood & Highland is also the location for the three-day Air Force Expo, Nov. 14-16. Visitors will be able to fly in an F-22 Raptor flight simulator and spin in a gyro chair. Mini-jets, jet engines, models and photos will be on display. A number of demonstrations, including performances by the Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team, are planned. The Air National Guard's "Shockwave" rock and "Dixieland" bands, and the band's jazz ensemble, will be performing throughout the weekend at the expo. Visitors will be able to meet Air Force heroes and astronauts. In addition to the expo in Hollywood, a one-day expo will be held at Riverside Plaza in Riverside, Nov. 15.
Military aircraft will be on display at "Wings Over Long Beach" at the Long Beach Airport, Nov. 15 and 16. Among the aircraft visitors will get a chance to see up close are C-17A, KC-135R and C-130 transports, an B-52H bomber, an F-16 C fighter jet and an unmanned Predator UAV. The Band of the Golden West's Rhythm N' Brass and the Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team will be performing throughout the day.
Air Force-themed film festivals begin with a showing of "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in North Hollywood. Other films scheduled include "Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag" at the Regal Cinemas Canyon County 10 Nov. 16, "Apollo 13" at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design Nov. 16 and "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" at the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences Nov. 16. A question-and-answer period with directors, technical specialists and others who worked on or were associated with that film will follow each showing. Special guests scheduled to appear at "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" are General Doolittle's granddaughter and two surviving Doolittle Raiders; at "Fighter Pilot," a pilot will answer questions; and at "Star Trek VI," the movie's director, Nicholas Meyer, will appear. Tickets for the films are free; however, advance reservations are required. Reserve your ticket online at www.airforceweeklosangeles.com/filmfestival.php.
The Band of the Golden West will present a free concert, featuring the music of Academy Award winning composer and Air Force veteran John Williams, at the historic Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro, Nov. 16. The concert starts at 3 p.m. During the week, the band will be performing at Disneyland Nov. 17 and at schools in near March Air Reserve Base Nov. 18. In addition to the Air Force expo, the Air National Guard Band will be performing at Knott's Berry Farm, Nov. 15.
For more information about Air Force Week in Los Angeles events, visit www.airforceweek.com or call (866) 751-USAF (8723).