Thunderbirds to mark Air Force Week

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds soar over the Atlantic

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds soar over the Atlantic Ocean during the Jones Beach air show. (May 23, 2009) (Credit: Kathy Kmonicek)

Air Force Week officially kicks off Sunday in New York City, but fans at Yankee Stadium will get an early taste when the Thunderbirds aerobatics team does a flyover Saturday before the 4:05 p.m. start of the Yankees-Red Sox game.

The Mets will get a flyover by the Thunderbirds' F-16 Fighting Falcon jets at Citi Field on Monday when they return from a road trip to play the Colorado Rockies.

Even fans of the minor league Brooklyn Cyclones will be treated to a flyover before their 7 p.m. game Tuesday in Coney Island against the Tri-City Valley Cats.

It's all part of a weeklong series of events meant to highlight the activities of the Air Force in an area of the country where the service lacks a continuing presence.

"Our main objective is to bring the men and women of the Air Force to New York City and showcase their capability and tell their stories -- and some of their stories are pretty unbelievable," Air Force spokesman Capt. Raymond Gobberg said Friday.

"It also gives our men and women the opportunity to thank New Yorkers for their support of our mission over the past several decades," Gobberg said, adding that about 30,000 current members of the Air Force are New York City natives.

The 106th Rescue Wing of the Air National Guard, based at Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton Beach, will provide one of the week's highlights when it conducts an open water rescue demonstration in the Hudson River at 2:45 p.m. Sunday.

A prime spot to view the drill will be the floating Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum at Pier 86 on the Hudson River, near 46th Street, the Air Force said.

The Thunderbirds -- formally known as the U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Team -- will do a flyover past the USS Intrepid at 1 p.m. as the kickoff ceremonies begin.

For additional information, the Air Force has a website, www.airforceweek.af.mil, and a Facebook site at facebook.com/AirForceNYC.

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