02/17/13 — Air show canceled

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Air show canceled

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on February 17, 2013 1:50 AM

After several weeks of deliberation, 4th Fighter Wing Commander Col. Jeannie Leavitt announced early Friday afternoon that there would be no Wings Over Wayne Air Show this year.

The fiscal challenges facing the military -- and nation -- are simply too great, she said.

"Our decision to cease planning for the 2013 air show comes after careful review and consideration of the fiscal challenges the Air Force, the Department of Defense and our nation face," the colonel said. "We're taking prudent measures and doing our best to mitigate our budget risks and align available resources with current and emerging operational requirements. Remaining as mission-ready as possible and preserving our combat capability is our imperative and we're prioritizing spending to ensure this priority is met."

Still, the decision didn't come easy.

In fact, as of a few weeks ago, base officials had decided to move forward with planning the two-day open house -- hoping that somehow, some way, they would still be able to highlight, to the masses expected to converge on the Goldsboro installation in May, the "great accomplishments" of those airmen stationed at Seymour Johnson; that the base, through the event, would be able to thank the Wayne County community for its "unwavering" support.

But in the end, the funding simply wasn't there.

No dates have been projected for a future Wings Over Wayne.

But Leavitt knows that future partnerships with a community that has offered "unparalleled community support" for more than a half-century are on the horizon.

So she offered her thanks, in advance, for the understanding of those who had a stake in the air show.

"Team Seymour would like to thank our service members, their families, the community and the supporters of the Wings Over Wayne Open House and Air Show for their continued support during these trying fiscal times," she said. "Without your support, we could not continue to be a mission ready F-15E wing and part of the world's most capable Air Force."