Fairchild celebrates its 75th birthday with Skyfest 2017

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Team Fairchild hosted the Inland Northwest Skyfest 2017 Air Show and Open House July 29 and 30, 2017.

The U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Squadron, better known as the Thunderbirds, headlined this free, two-day event, where thousands of visitors walked the flight line to enjoy seeing the capabilities of the Department of Defense. 

“For 75 years, the Inland Northwest has shown its unwavering support for us,” said Col. Ryan Samuelson, 92nd Air Refueling Wing commander. “This was a great opportunity for us to show them what Team Fairchild is all about. We appreciate the support we get from the local community and this was our way of giving back.”

In addition to the Thunderbirds, more than 20 static aircraft on display and 10 aerial performances entertained the crowds, said Maj. Richard Hennies, Skyfest 2017 air show director. 

Guests were encouraged to take a peek inside static displays for photo and informational opportunities.

The show also featured both civilian acts and demonstrations from sister services. A Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet displayed its capabilities while the Army UH-72 Lakota helicopter unit stationed at Fairchild showcased a static display. Local law enforcement agencies filled an entire hangar with displays of cars, aircraft and artifacts. 

To close the show, the Thunderbirds performed their world-renowned aerial demonstration as many in the crowd watched in awe.

“I appreciate everyone who came out to see the show, as well as everyone who worked hard over the last several months to organize Skyfest 2017,” Samuelson said. “The Inland Northwest is an amazing community that loves its military. It was an honor and privilege to open our gates and share what we do.”