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US Air Force Joins RNZAF 80th Anniversary Celebrations

United States Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons are coming to the RNZAF's 2017 Air Tattoo Photo Credit: USAF

United States Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons are coming to the RNZAF's 2017 Air Tattoo
Photo Credit: USAF

18 December 2016

The United States Air Force has confirmed its attendance and the aircraft it is bringing to the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s 80th Anniversary early next year.

Two F-16 Fighting Falcons, a C-17 Globemaster III and a KC-135 Stratotanker will be added to the international line-up announced so far of the Royal Australian Air Force’s three F-18 Hornets, C17 and a C27 for the 2017 Air Tattoo on February 25 and 26 at RNZAF Base Ohakea.

The F-16s and C-17 will put on a jaw-dropping display for the attending crowd, while the KC-135 Stratotanker will remain on the ground as a static display.

“It’s a sign of the mutual respect we share with the Australian and US militaries that they’re looking to send some significant air power assets here to help commemorate this important commemorative milestone with us,” said Ohakea Base Commander  Group Captain Nick Olney.

“The RNZAF often spends significant time operating alongside them both overseas and domestically, as we saw in the Kaikoura earthquake response,” he said.
People will also be able to see all the current RNZAF aircraft and speak to the people who maintain and fly them. Many of those people were on the ground in Kaikoura and helped in evacuations and delivering supplies.

Other confirmed militaries are the Republic of Singapore Air Force, the Royal Malaysian Air Force and the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. Confirmation of what other aircraft will be attending is expected in the New Year.

“Tickets for the Air Tattoo are becoming a hot item and people will need to be quick to secure their spots for the weekend as the tickets are limited and there are no gate sales,” Group Captain Olney said.

“In an effort to address the traffic issues associated with the last air show at RNZAF Base Ohakea, entry to the event will be by ticket only.

“Everyone is working extremely hard to ensure this will be an exhilarating experience and an event to remember for its great displays.”

The RNZAF Black Falcons team will also be delivering a spectacular display fresh from their first appearance at the Wings over Wairarapa show the week before.

Tickets are limited and are now on sale through Ticketek.

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