Air Force Raptors Won’t Be at Water Follies This Summer Thanks to Sequestration
Since early March, reports have been filtering in from the Department of Defense about Air Force and Navy demonstration teams cutting performances at airshows this year due to the sequester budget cuts.
The Air Force Thunderbirds, and Navy Blue Angels have already cancelled numerous festivals and flyovers, now it’s hitting individual performances and flights.
The latest casualty is the Columbia Cup HAPO Over-The-River Air Show. For years, crowds have enjoyed watching the frighteningly fast Air Force jets streak over the river, and around the skies of the Columbia Basin. Most recently, it’s been the F-22 Raptor — the latest weapon in the Air Force arsenal.
Water Follies officials confirmed that due to sequester cuts, the F-22 will not be part of Water Follies Weekend. According to Air Force officials, the sequester grounds what are considered all non-essential flights by military aircraft.
However, it will NOT affect any of the other performances for the air show. Water Follies weekend will take place July 26-28.