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Negotiation failure cancels Thunderbirds, Blue Angels season

Thu, Sep 12, 2013

Boykov - Shutterstock.com, CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 14- Blue Angels formation demonstrates flying skills and aerobatics at the annual Chicago Air and Water show on August 14, 2010 in Chicago, IL

The Diamond formation of four US Air Force Thunderbirds F-16 Fighting Falcons over Lake Michigan for Chicago’s Air & Water Show is a casualty of the federal budget sequester.

The March 1 implementation of across-the-board spending cuts led to the cancellation of more than 25 Thunderbirds performances across the nation and overseas as well as a comparable number for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. The Blue Angels alternate yearly performances at Chicago’s Air & Water Show with the Thunderbirds.

The sequester is an automatic cut of $1 trillion in spending as a result of bipartisan congressional failure to cut the federal deficit by $4 trillion on top of $2.5 trillion in earlier cuts.

“The whole design of these arbitrary cuts was to make them so unattractive and unappealing that Democrats and Republicans would actually get together and find a good compromise of sensible cuts as well as closing tax loopholes and so forth,” President Obama said on the White House website.

Christopher Parypa - Shutterstock.com, OCEAN CITY, MD - JUNE 15- US Air Force Demonstration Team Thunderbirds. Flying on f-16 showing precision of formation flying during the annual OC Air Show on June 15, 2010 in Ocean City, Maryland.

Failure to reach a compromise led to the April 1 cancellation of both the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels schedules. According to their website, the Thunderbirds are “part of a comprehensive marketing effort to engage the public with the ongoing technological efforts and innovations helmed by the Air Force;” the team accounts for $28 million annually in the federal budget.

Loic Youth,
Editorial Intern


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