Blue Angels to headline 2022 Ellsworth Airshow

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 6:02 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - After seven years, Ellsworth Air Force base is hosting an air show in 2022. Which, also doubles as the 80th anniversary of the base, and triples as the 75th anniversary of the Air Force.

The last time there was an air show at Ellsworth was back in 2015, when 50-thousand people attended.

Lieutenant Colonel Tony Nishimura, Director of 2022′s Airshow, says that they expect at least 60-thousand people this year due to population growth and anticipation.

He says between now and May they’re going to prepare all of the aerial acts and aircraft, which he calls a huge weight of work and says wouldn’t be achievable without an amazing team.

”To prepare for the air show,” says Nishimura, “it’s going to be a significant amount of effort, a lot of planning [and] a lot of the small details that need to be taken care to make it seamless to the public.”

Originally, the event was slated for 2020, but COVID setbacks postponed it to 2021. Since there’s still lingering effects of the pandemic, they’ve pushed it back a final time to the coming year.

Nishimura says there will be all kinds of aircrafts at the show, where the Navy’s Blue Angels will be the headliner.

’We’re planning on having B-25s to represent our Doolittle Raiders. That’s what Jimmy Doolittle and his team flew when they flew off the carrier into Japan. We also would like to have multiple fighter aircraft doing a demonstration, and we’re looking to do a multiple bomber flyover. So, our airshow is our way to really show the general public what we do here,” says Nishimura. “At least on a small scale.”

Nishimura says the Ellsworth Airshow isn’t exclusive to the military, as civilian aircraft will also be performing. He adds that if you’ll be attending the show to be on the lookout for items that will be prohibited to bring into the base to make sure everyone is safe.

The show will be on the 14th and 15th of May and is free to the public.

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