Omaha Public Radio News
2:57 am
Mon August 18, 2008

Open house, Air Show mark the end of Air Force Week in the Heartland

Omaha, NE – Air Force Week in the Heartland is over, and its final two days were celebrated with an Open House and Air Show.

Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue hosted last week's events. Thousands of people visited the base Saturday and Sunday to see aircraft on display and watch the Air Force Thunderbirds perform during the Air Show.

Among the planes on display were an RC-135 equipped for intelligence and surveillance missions; an AWACS used for both wartime and peacetime efforts; and a Blackhawk helicopter.

Tech Sergeant Patrick Needham is the pilot of the RC-135 based at Offutt. He says the crew's mission is dictated by what the Commander in a theater wants.

Major Pux Barnes of the Canadian Air Force is the pilot of the AWACS plane based at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. He says the plane has been used to enforce no-fly zones, and to help sort out the air space over New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

This is the first time Offutt has hosted an Air Force Week event.