Sequester forces military to withdraw from air show

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The hi-tech military aircraft that's been a part of the Thunder in the Valley Air Show for years will be a no show this year. Sequestration is forcing the military to withdraw from the spectacular acrobatic event that has drawn thousands to Columbus for 16 years.

The Air force, Army and Navy canceled appearances because of budget woes, according to event coordinator Phaedra Childers. "All branches of the armed forces have informed us they cannot participate," said Childers.

"The Air Force canceled as soon as budget cuts were a possibility; the Army had to pull its vehicles and weapons display last week; and the Navy called Friday to cancel the F-18 TAC Demo Team. We'll have nothing from the military currently being used in training or on the front lines. We're very disappointed."

Childers also added, "Despite the loss of military acts, more than three hours of mostly new-to-the-Valley performers remain including historic aircraft and displays from World War II, Korea and Vietnam; and the Army's incredible Silver Wings Parachute Team will still open the show both days.

In all there will still be nearly 200 minutes of performances."

A sweet 16 gift to Columbus and the Valley area also includes a free twilight performance with illuminated air craft

General Admission $10, Military Admission $8 in advance,

Day-of-event tickets $15 (civilian and military)

Scouts in uniform, Troop Leaders and children 6 and under are Free.

Proceeds are used to support local children's charities. Gates will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. March 16th & 17th at the Columbus Airport on Airport Thruway.