BOX ELDER, S.D. (KELO) — The Ellsworth Air Force Base is preparing for its first air show in seven years.
In 5 short months, the Ellsworth Air Force Base will be welcoming thousands of people to see major aircraft, including the Blue Angels.
“Between now and May, myself and the team, we’re preparing for all the aerial acts, all of the aircraft that are going to be on the ground. It’s a huge weight of effort that takes place,” Lt. Col. Nishimura said.
The air show will be held May 14th and 15th of next year, which is also the 80th anniversary of the Ellsworth Air Force Base.
“We have the 35th anniversary for B1’s here at Ellsworth and as you all may know we are the first base to get the B-21 Raider, the brand-new bomber for the air force so we are celebrating all these milestones, we’re super excited,” Lt. Col. Nishimura said.
Base Air Show Project Officer, Lt. Col. Tony Nishimura, says the event was postponed for the last two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In 2015 we had about 50,000 people at the air show. Because we haven’t had an air show in the last 7 years and because the population has grown, because of all the attention on us, we are expecting at least 60,000 people to the local area,” Lt. Col. Nishimura said.
The air show serves as an opportunity to give the public a behind the scenes look at parts of the base.
“So, our air show is our way to show the general public what it is we do here, at least at a small scale,” Lt. Col. Nishimura said.
Next year is also the 75th birthday of the United States Air Force.