The airshow at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, NC was such a kick-in-the-pants for me! When we arrived in town the day before the show, we decided to pop into Base Operations before checking into our hotel. Having a military ID is awesome! Hubby had bought me a new lens to take with me and I thought what a great way to try it out on something I might see the day before. So we walked out beside the flight line and a few people are sitting in chairs holding binoculars. Oh boy…something is about to happen!

The F-15E Strike Eagle is an air-to-ground attack aircraft.  When Hubby and I were stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (SJAFB) in North Carolina, it was common to see this aircraft flying so low in our community as it was on its flight path. The sound of freedom at its best! When hubby retired and we moved away from SJAFB, what we missed the most were the people and the sights and sounds of military aircraft. Did you know the letters on the top of the wing (ex: SJ) are the indicator of where that particular aircraft is stationed? This one is Seymour Johnson.

Just a sweet fly-by of the KC-135 flanked by F-15E’s. Again, just so fun and cool to see!

Jacquie Warda is a 50 year old female aerobatic pilot. Every flip, dip and spin was so much fun to watch.

Major Dan “Rock” Dickinson, F-22 Raptor Pilot, Commander of Demonstration Team, just before demonstrating the capabilities of the most feared fighter jet in the world. The Raptor does both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. When I spoke with Major Dickinson, he mentioned he has logged in more than 900 flying hours in the F-22. This is his second year as a demo pilot. He absolutely loves flying this aircraft. Major Dickinson was actually assigned this aircraft straight out of  pilot training. He has been a pilot for 12 years and a Raptor pilot for 9 years. His Grandfather, Uncle and Dad were pilots, so he is carrying on the tradition. I asked Major Dickinson if he gets nervous prior to a demo and he said “No, it’s just exhilarating and exciting every time”.  He stated that he practices the Heritage Flight every week to stay proficient. The Heritage Flight took 4 months to train for proficiency.  Major Dickinson mentioned how great it is during the air shows to display what assets are available for our military to defend our country and to inspire young people to join the military. To be able to chat with Major Dickinson prior to his impressive demonstration was beyond enjoyable! What a nice guy! Such a small world too….his wife Erin grew up in the town where I live and graduated from the same high school of where my daughters graduated. We salute you “Rock” and thank you for your service and displaying your passion for our military!  Hats off to Erin for keeping those home fires burning while Dan is off and about in the Raptor.

Check out the weapon bay doors as Major Dickinson opens them up for us to see where the bombs are stored.

And upside down!!! How cool is all of this?!!

Well, the F-22 Raptor was a sight for sore eyes! Major Dickinson did a fabulous job showing off for all of us. What a fun job he has while we are all on the ground watching in complete awe! 

What an incredible air show this was! I cannot wait for 2019 to attend the next one at Seymour Johnson AFB NC! What was one of your favorite air shows to attend?

Enjoying those sights and sounds of freedom, Rose

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