Gulf Coast Salute returns to Tyndall Air Force Base April 22-23

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TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - As the United States Air Force turns 70 this year, Tyndall AFB will celebrate by hosting the 2017 Gulf Coast Salute Open House and Air Show, April 22-23, 2017.

According to a release from Tyndall, the airshow will be Air Combat Command's flagship event for the Air Force anniversary. It will also be the largest air show of 2017 in Northwest Florida.

Base officials say they are planning to make it the best air show yet.

"We are excited to showcase everything the Air Force has to offer, and the weekend will be full of fun and entertaining performances," said Maj. Jesus Figueroa, air show director for the 2017 Gulf Coast Salute.

The Air Force Thunderbirds will headline the event, taking to the skies each day of the show for a 1-hour aerial demonstration. The team tours the world representing the pride, precision and professionalism of American Airmen.

Flying specially marked F-16 Fighting Falcons, the Thunderbirds are famous for their aerobatic formation and solo flying. The squadron's name is taken from the legendary creature that appears in mythologies of several indigenous North American cultures.

The base is also expecting numerous civilian aerobatic acts, historic
warbirds on display, and plenty of current military aircraft on the ground
for the public to see up close, Figueroa said.

Air show attendees will see the F-22 Raptor, the Air Force's premier fighter aircraft, on static display and in flight.

The air show lets Airmen stationed at Tyndall AFB show friends, neighbors, and family what they do and how they support the mission here.

"The Gulf Coast Salute is a gesture of goodwill to Bay County and the
surrounding area," Figueroa said. The air show helps build relationships
between the base and the community, and also educates the public about the Air Force, Figueroa continued. "It allows us to say thank you for the support we receive year-round."

Other confirmed acts include the Tora Group, the Ace Maker T-33, the iconic Red Tail P-51C Mustang and many others. Those in attendance can expect a full array of historic aircraft, from the Air Force's fledgling days in World War II, to today's most advanced fighters.

Officials anticipate 150,000 people at the event, which is hosted every two to three years. Tyndall AFB hosted the last Gulf Coast Salute in 2015, and 2011 before that.

The show is free and open to everyone.

For more information about the 2017 Gulf Coast Salute at Tyndall AFB, visit http://www.gulfcoastsalute.com.