Statement from Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh, Thunderbirds Commander/Leader: Thunderbird Flight Operations Resume


NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. – Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh, Thunderbirds Commander/Leader provided the following update today regarding the resumption of Thunderbirds flight operations:

Hello everybody. Today, the Thunderbirds will resume practice flights over the Nevada Test and Training Range. While our hearts are still heavy with the loss of our wingman Cajun, we know he’d want us back in the air and preparing to recruit, retain and inspire once more.

These flights will focus on maintaining our team’s proficiency with the demanding maneuvers of our air demonstration. They will also strengthen our confidence following a trying two weeks for the squadron.

Concurrent with these flights, we are supporting a robust investigation process to ensure the highest levels of safety in our operations. This team and its leadership are taking a long, hard look at our processes and training to ensure we are performing our mission the right way and mitigating risk.

With that in mind, I’m sure many of you are wondering when the team will resume air show performances. For now, we ask for your patience as we resume training operations and support the safety investigation. We are not currently cancelling any shows past Columbus Air Force Base, but we stress that further cancellations are still possible. When we do resume our show season, we’ll do so with the full faith and confidence of senior Air Force leadership that we are safe and ready to perform.

Finally, I’d like to again thank all our friends and fans for the unbelievable amount of love and support you’ve provided to Cajun’s family and this Squadron. You have helped us through some incredibly difficult days and aided us in our first steps on the long road to recovery. Hard days lie ahead, but we press on a little stronger thanks to you. Please stay tuned for further updates as we make our way back into the air. Thank you.

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