April 3, 2013
OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE Neb. -- The 2013 Defenders of Freedom Open House and Air Show, scheduled for Aug. 24-25, has been cancelled. Driven by operating budget uncertainties and sequestration, U.S. Air Force leadership at all levels are proactively implementing actions to minimize impact to military readiness while protecting wartime operations.
“The Department of Defense and the Air Force are facing difficult fiscal challenges, which requires us to make some tough decisions here at Offutt,” said Col. John Rauch, 55th Wing commander. “One of those tough decisions includes cancelling this year’s air show. We sincerely enjoy opening our gates to the public and appreciate the tremendous support we get from Bellevue, Omaha and the surrounding communities, but with the current guidance and fiscal restraints we can’t host an air show.”
The decision to cancel the air show and open house at Offutt was not easy considering the show’s popularity. Offutt’s open house and air show has been held annually since 1972.
“We understand how important the air show is to the local community and it’s equally important for us,” Rauch said. “It gives us a chance to provide the public with an up-close look at our military, its capabilities and the amazing things our military members do each and every day. For that reason, we are already looking ahead to when we hope to once again host our air show and open house.”
No dates for future Defenders of Freedom shows have been set at this time.
For more information, call the 55th Wing Public Affairs office at (402) 294-3663.