TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Florida — The Air Force Thunderbirds will be flying over the United Kingdom this summer in the traveling demonstration team’s first overseas trip since 2011.
The multi-role fighter jets will join Belgian F-16s, England’s Eurofighter Typhoons and American F-22 Raptors, among other aircraft, at the Royal International Air Tattoo from July 14 through July 16 at RAF Fairford.
“This definitely goes along the lines of building partner coalitions,” Maj. Nick Krajicek, the slot pilot, flying the No. 4 jet, told Military.com during an interview here at the base.
Military.com caught up with members of the team and even took a ride in an F-16D two-seater on April 21.
Krajicek said the Thunderbirds also work with allied teams stateside, too. Earlier this month, the Thunderbirds, part of the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, flew with Patrouille de France demonstration team over Nevada and California.
“The Thunderbirds have a really important mission engaging the public,” said Lt. Col. Jason Heard, the commander and leading pilot of the air demonstration team.
But as Air Force leaders brace for more budget woes — lawmakers have been unable to agree on a full-year budget so instead plan to pass a short-term spending measure later this week — they may once again look to scale back flying hours as a way to cut costs.
Read more of this story at Military.com.