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Final preparations underway for Warriors over the Wasatch Air and Space Show

Posted at 5:36 PM, Apr 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-19 19:36:53-04

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah – Organizers are making final preparations for the “Warriors over the Wasatch Air and Space Show.”

The two-day event takes place June 23rd and 24th at Hill Air Force Base.

“This is our opportunity to open those gates for folks to come in and see what we do on a daily basis,” said Lt. Col. Jeffrey Thomas, the show’s director.

The Department of Defense holds events like this with the hope of inspiring youth to serve in the Armed Forces.

“When I was young, my dad took me to my first air show: Blue Angels,” Thomas said. "That was my first time seeing a demo team – I was hooked.”

He credits that air show with leading him to a career in the Air Force.

“I got my pilot’s license in high school, joined the military after college, and it really just set me in motion for where I am today,” Thomas said.

The event will feature hours of action involving planes from the World War II era all the way to most sophisticated aircraft being used today.

“The F-35 is the plane now,” said Kevin Ireland, the executive director of the Utah Air Show Foundation.

He grinned with excitement when describing why the F-35 is so special.

“The Marines are using it, the Navy is using it, and of course the Air Force is using it,” Ireland said. “It is the power house, the lead dog, the quarterback that we are using and will be using for many years to come.”

The high-flying acts are a recruiting tool used to show boys and girls opportunities in the military.

“They can come out and join the military, the United States Air Force, and learn to fly one of these incredible planes," Thomas said.

Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend this year’s event.

“There is nothing like getting as close as you are going to get,” Thomas said. “This is the closest most of these folks will get to seeing jets and after burners.”

Organizers say the best place to catch the action is on Hill Air Force Base. Admission is free, but people who plan to attend are advised to arrive early.