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JBLM Airshow & Warrior Expo takes to the sky

The C-17 West Coast Demo Team, based out of JBLM, will fly its C-17 Globemaster III to showcase the C-17’s airlift capabilities at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Airshow & Warrior Expo July 15-16 at McChord Field. Photo Credit: Sr. Airman Tryphena Mayhugh

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JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD - Anticipation is high and excitement is palpable as the countdown ticks down to the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Airshow & Warrior Expo slated for Saturday and Sunday on McChord Field. The airshow is free and open to the public.

JBLM gates will open at 9 a.m. to allow the public access to the free airshow that also includes static displays and a car show amongst the aviation demonstrations that are sure to awe and inspire.

It's been seven years since there's been an airshow at McChord Field, and months of planning have been devoted to putting the details together for this year's event.

"We're very excited to welcome our community to come to the airshow to give them a flavor of what we do here," said Lt. Col. Timothy Rawson, 2023 JBLM Airshow & Warrior Expo director. "It's taken the dedication of hundreds of people to make this event happen, and no one is prouder than I am to be able to showcase their hard work. This is going to be an incredible event for everyone to enjoy."

On and off-base parking areas have been designated for both Department of Defense ID cardholders and for the general public. DOD ID cardholders may park at Madigan Army Medical Center and the Logistics Center parking area, as well as near McChord Field just south of Col. Joe Jackson Boulevard.

Members of the general public, who do not have DOD ID, may choose to park inside the JBLM DuPont Gate, at I-5 Exit 119, the SR-512 Park and Ride parking lot or the Lakewood Station. Free shuttle buses will be operating at all parking areas to assist with getting visitors to McChord Field.

Carpooling is highly recommended to help alleviate traffic congestion, and visitors are asked to refer to the list of prohibited items at before heading to the base.

The show is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. with a Joint Force Demonstration that features JBLM's own fixed and rotary wing aviators and ground vehicles from the Army and the Air Force to prepare for the opening ceremonies.

In addition to the famous U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, several of JBLM's own stars will be making appearances in the air, including AH-64E Apache and MH-47 Chinook helicopters. The C-17 West Coast Demo Team, based out of JBLM, will showcase the airlift capabilities of the most versatile cargo jet in the world.

On the ground, spectators will get the chance to step inside some of the more than 60 air and land vehicles on static display from both the Army and Air Force, which includes the C-17 and Stryker vehicles.

While there is sure to never be a dull moment, the show will truly heat up by the afternoon with "Tora, Tora, Tora," a live reenactment of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, complete with jaw-dropping pyrotechnics.

Lastly, and certainly not least, the highly anticipated Thunderbirds will take to the skies and wrap up the day in fantastic display as they perform incredible aerial demonstrations that are sure to impress.

The flying portion of the airshow ends at about 4 p.m., but that doesn't mean the fun ends. After the Thunderbirds land, the America's I Corps Rock Band takes to the stage to offer a live performance that is sure to keep crowds on their feet and the energy going.

All the details on the show's schedule, parking and prohibited items can be found at the airshow's website,

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