HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- Even after a year of financial uncertainty that included unpaid furlough days for civilian workers and a lengthy government shutdown, the Hill Air Force Base air show will be back this summer.
Base officials announced Friday that the popular "Warriors Over the Wasatch" open house and air show will take place at Hill June 28-29.
Base spokesman Rich Essary said the U.S. Air Force's premier demonstration team, the Thunderbirds, will headline the show, but details beyond that are scarce.
Essary said several other acts would be scheduled to perform at the show, but at this time, it's still unknown what those acts will be.
Other details about the show, like how much it will cost, are not yet available either, Essary said.
The last air show was held at Hill in 2012 and featured nearly 500,000 spectators.
Hill budgeted more than $200,000 for that show and also received a boost from the private sector.
The Top of Utah Military Affairs Committee, contributed another $200,000 for the show and donations were made by several corporations, contractors affiliated with the base, and several Top of Utah cities.
The Utah Legislature even appropriated some money for the 2012 show.
Essary said participation outside of Hill and the federal government will likely occur again in 2014.
"That's the plan," he said. "It will be much like the (air shows) we've had in the past."
For the 2014 show, external funding will likely be more needed than it ever has before.
In March, as a response to government sequestration actions, the Air Force's Air Combat Command cancelled all aviation support to public events for the remainder of the fiscal year 2013 and shut down the Thunderbirds team to save flying hours to support readiness needs.
The cancellation included all air shows, trade shows, fly-overs at funerals and military graduations, orientation flights, heritage flights, F-22 demonstration flights and open houses.
Temporary funding for flying hours was restored in late July, allowing the Thunderbirds to resume training flights again, but funding is still a question mark for the next year.
In an effort to maximize training while anticipating limited 2014 funding, the ACC announced an extension of the tour length for officers currently serving with the Thunderbirds.
"It takes a significant amount of training to get our pilots qualified to safely execute with the team," said Lt. Col. Greg Moseley, commander the Thunderbirds. "Faced with limited funding in the future, we have to take every opportunity to ensure we put on a safe demonstration."
The 12 officer positions on the Thunderbirds team are two-year tours of duty. By design, the position openings are staggered, allowing the squadron to maintain continuity of experience and leadership.
Despite the financial hard times, Col. Kathryn Kolbe, 75th Air Base Wing and installation commander, said the event will be "a tremendous opportunity for our base to showcase the precision and power of the U.S. Air Force."
Contact reporter Mitch Shaw at 801-625-4233 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @mitchshaw23.