Air Expo celebrates Guard's airlift wing

  • Article by: MARK BRUNSWICK , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 15, 2011 - 7:04 PM

Military aviation-ophiles take note: There's plenty of stuff flying in the air and up for inspection on the ground.

The 133rd Airlift Wing of the Minnesota Air National Guard is having an expo Saturday to celebrate its 90th anniversary. It is the oldest federally recognized flying unit in the National Guard.

This Air Expo is free, open to the public, and will be at the 133rd Airlift Wing, located on the north side of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport near historic Fort Snelling, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. (1600 hours if you are into that sort of thing).

The U.S. Air Force Drill Team, a 16-person ensemble that performs choreographed weapon maneuvers, will have demonstrations at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The U.S. Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team will perform precision freefall demonstrations at about 10:50 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Vintage aircraft will be in action. There will be low approaches starting at 10 a.m. of a group of vintage T-6 Texas Avengers, a P-51 Mustang, a Hawker Sea Fury fighter plane and a B-17 bomber.

There also will be flying demonstrations by C-130s and an A-10 Thunderbolt "Warthog" attack plane.

In addition, 40 aircraft will be on display for this event, including the 133rd Airlift Wing's own C-130H "Hercules" transport aircraft.

Other aircraft scheduled to be on display include additional cargo, fighter and special purpose airframes, as well as several heritage aircraft.

The event will also feature 20 aircraft permanently on display at the Minnesota Air National Guard Museum.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the wing, composed of approximately 1,200 men and women, has cumulatively deployed 5,673 airmen to 36 countries in support of the global war on terror.

More information about the Air Expo can be found at www.startribune.com/a551.

Mark Brunswick • 612-673-4434

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