Warriors Over the Wasatch Air and Space Show resumes next month

May 26, 2022, 5:16 PM | Updated: May 27, 2022, 8:07 am

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - MAY 25: The Air Force Thunderbirds perform after the Air Force Academy gradu...

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - MAY 25: The Air Force Thunderbirds perform after the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony at Falcon Stadium on May 25, 2022 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III gave the commencement address to the 973 graduates from the academy. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah — After a four-year break, the Warriors Over the Wasatch Air and Space Show is coming back to Hill Air Force Base.

Organizers believe it will be the largest show in a long time thanks to that extra-long break.

They expect to have more displays than ever in the air and on the ground.

This year’s show will feature the Air Force Thunderbirds and Hill’s F-35 demonstration team.

Lt. Colonel Joseph Michaels said, “The interest is unbelievable because we’ve been in COVID for so long.”

Michaels said the airmen at Hill are eager too. It’s been an unusually long hiatus, thanks to the pandemic.

“Being 30 days out, we’re definitely in the rigor of getting things up and running to make sure that this is a successful event,” Michaels said.

He is a career airman with more than 28 years under his belt. Michaels already has a full-time job on top of serving as air show coordinator.

“I’m the operations support squadron commander,” he said.

Thousands like him will volunteer their time so that an estimated 650,000 people make it out to the base.

The Thunderbirds fly in formation during the 2018 Warriors Over the Wasatch Air Show. (KSL TV) Hill Air Force Base (KSL TV) Lt. Colonel Joseph Michaels is a career airman with more than 28 years under his belt. (KSL TV) Kevin Ireland is executive director of the Utah Air Show Foundation. (KSK TV) U.S. Thunderbirds (KSL TV)

“This is going to be a big one,” said Kevin Ireland, executive director of the Utah Air Show Foundation. “This is one you don’t want to miss for sure.”

He said people from at least eight different states are coming to Utah for the show.

“Because it one of the largest in the Western United States area and people actually plan their family vacations around stopping at Hill to catch this show,” he said.

It’s a chance to say thanks for the public support and it’s a major recruiting tool.

Michaels said, “So for us, it’s exciting to watch the children go up to the aircraft, touch them, ask questions. As somebody that’s been in a long time like myself, I still get a charge out of seeing that.”

It doesn’t hurt that the Tom Cruise blockbuster “Top Gun Maverick” will be released this weekend.

“To be able to come out and see it in real life and experience, and feel it, smell it, and the sound of it — let me tell you, that will get every kid from 6 to 61 to want to come back into the Air Force or sign up for the first time,” Ireland said.

“Top Gun Maverick” may be about Navy pilots, but it is helping build excitement for the show at Hill.

The show runs on June 25 and 26.

Buses will be picking up crowds from the Clearfield FrontRunner station and various parking areas around town.

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Warriors Over the Wasatch Air and Space Show resumes next month