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Close air support demo at USAFA shows capabilities


By Maureen Welch, Nov. 3, 2017

U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. —Thousands of cadets and visitors at the Air Force Academy didn’t have to go overseas Nov. 3 to get a look at combat operations.

All they had to do was look up.

They got to see a close air support demonstration that included Joint Terminal Attack Controllers directing “flyovers” by two A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft and two F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft above the campus.

Cadets 2nd Class Logan Frost and A.J. Miller watched the noisy demo from outside Vandenberg Hall.

“The A-10s are awesome,” Frost said. “The F-16 was amazing because the [pilot] just came in on full after-burners and just rattled the place to the ground.”

Miller said the demo reminds him of the talent of Air Force pilots.

“They should continue with the demonstrations because it greatly improves the morale,” he said. “I don’t know a single cadet that doesn’t like flyovers.”

The demo also featured a simulated “live fire” from the JTACs, who engaged in a mock firefight with an enemy force after landing on Spirit Hill in a UH60 Blackhawk helicopter.

The demo is one of several scheduled events leading up to the Air Force versus Army football game, Nov. 4 in Falcon Stadium.

An A-10 Thunderbolt II, U-2 Dragon Lady, F-16 Fighting Falcon and a B-1 Lancer aircraft are scheduled to fly over the stadium before the 1:30 p.m. (MST) kickoff.