Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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County News

Air Force F-16 Thunderbird Flies Over Lake City: It Will Be Back

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – On Friday, February 12, 2016, a lone Air Force F-16 flew over Lake City, taking photographs and mapping out the terrain in preparation for the appearance of the USAF Thunderbird F-16 precision flying team on April 9 – 10 in Columbia County/Lake City.

Shortly after the Cuban missile crisis, a little over 50 years ago, your reporter used to watch Tactical Air Command (TAC) F-4's blasting off skyward from the runway of a SAC base. At that time, one of the fighter plane's missions was to protect the B-52s sitting on alert pads, while the B-52 air crews were ensconced in bunkers waiting for the signal to strike the enemy.

Times have changed. TAC is no more and in 1991 America's B-52s stopped flying 24-7 nuclear sky deterrent missions.

However, the power and stealth of America's fighter jets has increased exponentially and is almost beyond the imagination.

Anyone that has the chance to witness the Air Force F-16 Thunderbirds taking off from a runway and kicking in their afterburners will be in for a soul shaking, almost religious experience that is guaranteed to bring tears to your eyes.

Additionally, seeing and hearing them flying by alone and in formation is something you will never forget.

To see the power is to understand the power.

Your reporter hopes you enjoy the show.

Photo and graphic by the Observer

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