Air Force Band of Mid-America performs at Grissom

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jami Lancette
  • 434th ARW Public Affairs

Sense of pride and patriotism came in many platforms during Grissom’s Air and Space Expo and the Air Force Band of Mid-America was in sync to that sentiment using music as their medium to inspire the hearts and minds of spectators.

As the gates opened and the crowd flooded in, tunes could be heard helping to calm the mood as visitors began anxiously pouring through the gates to witness an airshow not previously performed since 2003.

The Air Force Band of Mid-America has a long history of entertaining the public and promoting esprit de corps within the military. The band stationed at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois strives to tell the Air Force story though the universal language of music.

“We get to be the welcoming committee for Grissom’s airshow,” said Tech. Sgt. Shawna Kuebler, Roots In Blue non-commissioned officer in charge. “We were at the gate when people arrived welcoming them and setting the tone.”

Not only is the band providing entertainment they have also been a part of backstage performances as well.

“I have gotten the chance to be a part of the planning for the airshow, and it’s been a wonderful experience; everyone has been so welcoming,” said Kuebler. “Anytime you’re doing something as massive as an airshow with so many people and jobs that need to get done, it’s really neat to see it come to fruition,”

Each year, the band performs for millions of people throughout a ten-state region from the upper peninsula of Michigan all the way south as far as Arkansas.

“We get a lot of unique opportunities and areas to perform at, but this is not like one I have ever been able to be a part of,” said Airman First Class Dana Bowers. “I’ve never been able to see all of these different types of aircrafts.

“Grissom’s airshow is a new experience, and I’m glad the Air Force has opened up these unique opportunities for me to be a part of,” Bowers added.

Just as excited as the performers were spectators who stopped to hear the tunes.

"The band was fantastic," said Lou Fincher, a Logansport, Indiana resident who traveled to see the airshow. "We were waiting by the fence for family to show up and heard the band start playing, so we decided to walk over and listen. "Our grandchildren enjoyed them so much they started dancing."

The 2019 Grissom Air and Space Expo also featured demonstrations by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the U.S. Army Aerial demonstration team, The Golden Knights, along with other military and civilian acts.

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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