Posted By: Dan Messineo
An annual tradition for more than 40 years has been grounded. The popular "Defenders of Freedom" air show at Offutt Air Force Base is canceled. Officials cite budget restrictions.
The U.S. Air Force leadership said the show won't be taking flight this year because of "budget uncertainties." The show was scheduled for late August in Bellevue. Officials made the decision to call it off after rising budget concerns in the aftermath of the sequestration.
"The Department of Defense and the Air Force are facing difficult fiscal challenges, which require us to make some tough decision here at Offutt," said Col. John Rauch, 55th Wing commander. Officials said they have to make those decisions to minimize the impact on military readiness while protecting wartime operations.
Col. Rauch said the air show is an important event for the local community and for the air base. He said they're hoping Offutt will be able to host air shows in the future. However, no date has been set.