This year's 10th annual Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach in Wantagh will not feature any military performers if federal government sequestration budget cuts are not repealed by the of March.
Organizers of the Memorial Day weekend show announced this past weekend that festivities will go on regardless of whether the budget gridlock is settled in Washington. However, if the sequestration cuts are not repealed by the March 31 deadline, U.S. military performers will be grounded and forced to cancel performances at all airshows across the country, organizers stated.
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The sequestration plan calls for a $1.2 trillion reduction in federal spending during the next decade if Congress and the White House are unable to come to a consensus on addressing the federal deficit by the end of the month.
"Faced with deep budget cuts, we have no choice but to stop public aviation support," said Brig. Gen. Les Kodlick, the director of Air Force Public Affairs, in a statement. "The Air Force will reevaluate the program at the end of the fiscal year and look for ways to curtail the program without having to cancel aviation support altogether."
The United States Air Force Thunderbirds are scheduled to headline the 10th anniversary Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach on May 25-26 along with the United States Army Golden Knights and the United States Navy F-18 Super Hornet. Airshow organizers said if the sequestration cuts remain intact, this year's show will instead feature civilian performers as well as a second- time appearance by the Royal Canadian Air Force Supersonic F18 Demo Team. Among those who would perform include the Geico Sky typers, John Klatt, David Windmiller, the Warbirds and Sean Tucker.
The 2012 Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach attracted nearly 400,000 spectators.