McEntire SCNG Air and Ground Expo 2017
Airshows at Military Base - Air Force Base / National Guard Base / Naval Air Station / Marine Corps Air Station - are much different from those held at Civilian Sites. In addition to the normal Acrobatic Individual and Team Demonstrations, Warbird Fly-bys and Demonstrations, and Heritage Flights of Warbirds and Current Military Aircraft, the Military Airshow is also going to show its service's aircraft, equipment, and capabilities. Such was the case with the two day South Carolina National Guard Air and Ground Expo held at McEntire SC Joint National Guard Base.
Acrobatic demonstrations were provided by the Redline Aerobatic Team flying Van's RV8 aircraft, Twin Tigers Aerobatic Team flying YAK-5s, Matt Younkin flying a Beech 18 (C-45F Expeditor), Aeroshell Aerobatic team, and Gary Ward in his MX2.
The military demonstrations opened with the Black Daggers, the US Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) Parachute Demonstration Team presenting the colors complete with F-16 Fighting Falcon Fly-over. Other military demonstrations included the SC Air National Guard demonstrating its UH-60 Blackhawk fire suppression and lift capabilities, the Canadian Forces CF-18 Hornet, USN F/A-18 Super Hornet, and USAF F-22 Flight Raptor Demonstration teams, and the USAF Heritage Flight with a P-51D Mustang and the F-22 Raptor.
The Warbirds included F-86 Saber (Sky Blazers), F4U-4 Corsair (Korean War Hero), P-40M Warhawk, (The Jacky C), P-51D Mustang (Swamp Fox), and TP-51D Mustang (Bum Steer) with the F4U, P-40, and P-51 flying in The "Legends" Flight. The TP-51 flew in the USAF Heritage Flight with the F-22. The "Sky Blazers" were an Air Force Flight Demonstration team in Europe and were a predecessor of the USAF Thunderbirds. The F4U-4 Corsair "Korean War Hero" flew of two different Aircraft Carriers during the Korean War.
In addition to all the all the flying displays there was a Monster Truck "Gun Slinger", the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales, along with all the aircraft on static display. A great photo op was had with the Clydesdales and Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Missouri Wing B-25J Mitchell (Show Me!) that was on static display as both the Clydesdales and B-25 are out of St. Louis, MO.
The Coup d'état for this Airshow was the Joint NG Combined Arms Demo ... There were F-16 Fighting Falcons, AH-64 Apaches, UH-60 Blackhawk, M109 Howitzer, M1A1 Abrams Tanks, and M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles. The scenario was making attacks on a hostile position with the F-16s and AH-64s, followed by the recovery of a "downed" pilot by the UH-60 with support provided by the ground forces. For the F-16 passes to simulate the release of ordinance the aircraft release flares with pyrotechnic explosions on the ground. During the ground support portion of the demo the armored vehicles and troops were firing blanks. The demo ended with a Wall of Fire as the F-16s did a final overhead pass of the crowd.