A bloated federal budget could be to blame for the U.S. Air Force Thunderbird flight demonstration team not coming to Milwaukee in August. On Tuesday, organizers of the annual Milwaukee Air and Water Show announced that the Thunderbirds would headline the August event this year. But they may not actually come according to reporting by Foreign Policy Magazine. Both the Air Force and the Navy are considering grounding their flight demonstration teams due to cost constraints this year.
According to Foreign Policy Mag’s Situation Report:
An Air Force official told Situation Report that if sequestration hits, the Air Force would ground the Thunderbirds, based at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. It is also looking at canceling “aerial support” at air shows, patriotic holiday events, and local and national sporting events, which could top 1,000 events across the country. “It is likely the Thunderbirds…will not conduct their season this year,” Wendy Varhegyi, a spokeswoman for the Air Force, told Situation Report.
Sequestration, the reason for the possible cancelation of the flight teams, references the cuts that would automatically take place in the federal budget if Washington can’t agree on meaningful, long-term deficit reduction. Under President Barack Obama, U.S. government deficit spending has risen more than under any previous president, Democrat or Republican.