Most loyal Shorebeat readers know that, well, we’re what they call “av-geeks.”
We love aviation, especially military aviation, but nobody here has ever taken a flying lesson. Sure, that will change one day, but in the mean time, the staff at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst invited us to the base for an inside tour of some of the most advanced – and classic – aircraft systems ever built.
Our visit to the base was highlighted by a fly-along with the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team, which we will be featuring in a mini-documentary on Monday. But while we bring all of that amazing footage, and great interactions with a crew characterized by their exceptional camaraderie and unending sense of humor, we thought it would be prudent to give you a preview of what you might expect at the Power in the Pines air show this weekend at JB-MDL.
We were thoroughly impressed. The F-16 and F-15 demonstration teams trained their aerial acrobatics, along with a cadre of World War II-era aircraft, but we also saw the vehicle that forms the basis of the HIMARS launcher that has revolutioned the war in Ukraine, the AH-1Z (“Viper Zulu”) which U.S. Marines will bring with them in numbers to a fight in the Pacific, and the brand new aerial refueling tankers that will ensure our fighters, AWACS and other aircraft have long-legs for an international conflict.
The C-17 was also featured prominently, just over a year after playing a key role in the evacuation of Afganistan following the collapse of the government there.
Following the pandemic era, air shows are one of the community events we can enjoy again, and to have such a major air base like MDL in our midst is a privilege. The very heavy-lift of the staff there to bring this event together was spectacularly accomplished, and anyone who attends will be in for a treat this weekend.
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Full Show Schedule: