Headlining next year's event will be America's Ambassadors in Blue, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. Their last visit to Robins was in 2009.
We are very excited about this event. This is a great opportunity for the Air Force and Robins Air Force Base to thank Americans across the southeast for their continuous support for the military, said Col. Jeffrey King, Installation commander.
By the time next year's show debuts, it will have been 63 years since the Air Force's official air demonstration team was created in May 1953. Designated the 3600th Air Demonstration Unit, the demo team was activated at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. According to the team's web site, the name Thunderbirds was influenced in part by the strong Native American culture and folklore from the southwestern U.S. where Luke AFB is located.
The flying unit is officially known as the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, and flies the F-16 Fighting Falcon. In the 2015 show schedule, they performed over 35 air shows as well as flyovers for special events, including a flyover at the opening of February's Super Bowl in Arizona.
Its aerial demonstrations can include 40 maneuvers with formation flying and solo routines, with a squadron of nearly 130 airmen who serve in more than two dozen Air Force job specialties. A team of 12 officers can include veteran fighter pilots, an operations officer, advance pilot and narrator, as well as support officers who provide medical, administrative, maintenance and public affairs duties.
The last Robins Air Show was in 2012 when the Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron, headlined the event, which drew a crowd of nearly 200,000 people over a two day-period in April.