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Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Sunday, March 27, 2011

23rd Annual Memorial Day Salute to Veterans Corporation Announces Air Show Performers

News Release:
Nancy Fields, Media Chairman
Web Site:



Columbia, MO: The Salute to Veterans Corporation invites the public to be our guests at the 23rd Annual FREE Salute to Veterans Airshow over the Memorial Day Weekend, May 28-29, 2011, from 9:30am to 3:30pm, at Columbia Regional Airport. The 6-Day Celebration includes the FREE Salute to Veterans Parade at 9:55am, Monday, Memorial Day, May 30th on Broadway in downtown Columbia, and concludes with the Military Ceremony at the Boone County Courthouse immediately following the Parade.

Demonstration Teams, Aircraft and Featured Events Include:

United States Air Force C-17A Globemaster III Aerial Demonstration Team:
The USAF 58th Airlift Squadron “Rat Pack” Demonstration Team from Altus, AFB, Oklahoma will be here for the first time to headline our 2011 Airshow. This huge aircraft will thrill our spectators by giving a spectacular demonstration of its flying capabilities. The C-17A Globemaster III is the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force and is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. It measures an impressive 174 feet long with a wingspan of 169 feet, but can land and take off from a 3,500 foot runway!

Canadian National Demonstration Team CF-18 Hornet:
The 2011 CF-18 Demonstration Team exemplifies the professionalism, dedication and teamwork demonstrated by each and every member of the Canadian Forces. The team will lift off on its 2011 air show season at our Salute to Veterans Celebration. This year the CF-18 Demo Team honors the inherent resilience of military families as they pay tribute to the sacrifices they make in support of Canada. Piloted by Captain Erick O’Connor of 409 Squadron at Cold Lake, Alberta, the 2011 Demo Hornet will feature brilliant tail art to highlight the “Supporting our Military Families” theme, one that complements our Salute to Veterans Theme. The Canadian Forces recognizes that family members are a most important source of strength and in return they deserve firm commitment to support and honor them. As the Canadian Air Force’s front line multi-role fighter, the CF-18 plays a vital role in Canada’s NORAD commitments in protecting North American airspace 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.

United States Air Force A-10 West Thunderbolt II Demonstration Team:
The A-10 Thunderbolt’s demonstration is designed to highlight the superior performance and characteristics of the aircraft. The combination of high and low speed maneuvering, rapid rolls, performance climbs and descents are awesome.

The LIMA LIMA Aerobatic Demonstration Team:
They will be Flying SIX United States Navy T-34 Mentor’s in a thrilling 20-minute aerobatic routine with music and narration as a Salute to the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation. The turn rates for the T-34 are double those of the F-16 and F/A-18 fighter planes and that results in a dramatic performance that keeps the action in front of spectators for the entire show.

United States Army 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagles” Parachute Team:
The “Screaming Eagles” are returning to delight audiences at the Salute to Veterans Airshow. On Thursday, May 26th, at 10:00AM they will they will parachute from a WWII C-47 Dakota into Sedalia’s Smith-Cotton Practice Field in front of thousands of students and their families. On Monday, May 30th, Memorial Day, at 9:55am, they will “jump-start” the Salute to Veterans Parade by parachuting into five intersections on Broadway in downtown Columbia.

Canadian Forces Parachute Team, the Skyhawks:
We are proud to welcome back our wonderful Allies, the Canadian Forces Parachute Team, the Skyhawks, as they celebrate their 40th Anniversary Season. Led by Team Captain, Mark Sheppard, they will once again descend from the skies demonstrating their spectacular and unique relative canopy work. Their aerobatic performance will visually captivate spectators in a show that highlights technical expertise and thrilling parachute formation.

WWII United States Navy SNJ Texan Aerobatic Demonstration:
This USN American-made war bird will be flying in a beautifully choreographed acrobatic low show routine with patriotic music and dialogue that honors each and every veteran at the Airshow. It also will be saluting the 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation.

United States Army K-9 Corps Demonstration Team, Ft. Leonard Wood, MO.:
Military working dogs first entered service in March of 1942 to serve in the Army's K-9 Corps. Today, they have an actual military service record book assigned to them, and missions these dogs perform include: explosives detection; security, patrol; search and rescue; and guard duty.

WWI Kansas City Dawn Patrol:
The Famous WWI "Flying Circus" of the Kansas City Dawn Patrol returns for the 19th year with even more planes added to their menagerie on the tarmac and flying, including two that were used in the Movie "Amelia".

The U.S. Army “Strength in Action Tour” with FIVE interactive elements:
Guitar Hero with Stage; Strength to Soar Aviation Element, allowing spectators to “fly” a helicopter; Strength of Technology Robotics Element; Strength of Body Fitness Element; and Strength to Lead: the ROTC Leadership Challenge, all available for audience participation.

Static Display of Military Aircraft from All Eras:
Major vintage and active duty military Aircraft will be on the tarmac for a close up look including; Twelve WWI airplanes; A-1D Skyraider; C-130 Hercules, AV-8B Harrier; A-10 Thunderbolts; USN Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion; two P-51 Mustangs including the famous “Tuskegee Airmen”, a B-25 Mitchell Bomber and more.

Food, Beverage and Military and Aviation Souvenirs and Memorabilia Tents.

Honored Guests and Volunteers Banquet, Saturday, May 28, 5:30 PM, Hearne’s Center: It is the high point of the 6-day Salute to Veterans Celebration and we issue an invitation to the public to attend! Tickets are only $40.00 a person for a carved buffet and fine wine on each of the tables of eight. So start collecting your friends, family and colleagues and make your plans to take a table this year! The program includes the introduction of all of the Military Demonstration Teams; Special Guests; reunion groups of the Tuskegee Airmen and Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP); Recognition of the Honored Military Guests; Awards to Volunteers; and an Auction for the Endowment Fund of wonderful items including aviation and military artwork and jewelry. The evening ends with a patriotic musical video “Salute to Our Armed Forces and Our Allies” and a stirring rendition of “God Bless America” by Major General Arnold Fields, USMC, Ret. Come join us and bring your family, neighbors and friends to this not-to-be-missed heartwarming evening. Call, Fax or E-mail your reservations to: Kimberly Boyer: Phone: 573 449-0018; Fax: 573 443-4297; or E-Mail:

Salute to Veterans Parade, 9:55am, Memorial Day, May 30, downtown Columbia:

Jump-Started by the USA 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagles” parachuting into five intersections on Broadway and over 155-units, including Military Reunion Groups, bands, Honored Guests and all the aircraft from the Airshow flying cover overhead as a tribute to fallen comrades.

Military Ceremony at the Boone County Courthouse, Memorial Day, May 30, 11 am:
50 wreaths will have been placed, the Columbia Community Band plays, a short speech by the ranking military officer Honored Guest on the meaning of Memorial Day, followed by “Amazing Grace” by the Bagpipers Band, a 21-Gun Salute, and then Echo Taps brings the 2011 6-day Salute to Veterans Celebration to a close.

Please Note: The Celebration should not be referred to as “the Columbia Airshow”, “Columbia’s Memorial Day Airshow”, this “Columbia Event”, “Columbia’s Memorial Day Weekend”, etc., or any other designation that would imply that it is hosted, organized, or anyway produced or sponsored by The City Of Columbia, its Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, or the State Of Missouri. It is presented solely by the Memorial Day Weekend Salute To Veterans Corporation, a private, 501c3, not-for-profit, tax-deductible, educational, Missouri Company. The Corporation consists of over 3,000 volunteers and 100 volunteer committee chairmen, none of whom is paid.

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