President’s Letter

December 28, 2015Bill IMG_9494

Here at the end of December we hope all our friends continue enjoying happy and peaceful Holidays. Planning continues to move forward for the 2016 Arctic Thunder Open House and Air Show. Our community relations with sponsors and the base leadership are the healthiest ever, even in a time of budgetary constraints.

We were able to participate in the International Council of Air Shows’ annual convention and have identified the performers the Association is providing Arctic Thunder, including a cold war era jet—a first for us! We are welcoming back some familiar world-class aerobatic performers, some new top-notch talent, and Alaska flyers that are perennial crowd pleasers. The line up includes:

Gary Ward and his MX-2
Jason Newburg and his Viper Pitts
Marcus Paine and his Stearman
A Super Cub short take off and landing demonstration
Greg Colyer and his T-33 Ace Maker II
Wings of Freedom
Commemorative Air Force Alaska Wing

This offering represents a record number of acts for the Association, and is made possible only through continued sponsorship donations, which can now be made online (Click here). I would like to personally thank all the sponsors who have pledged their support these past several months. But we need additional sponsorship to help make this a successful air show season. Please consider a generous tax-deductible sponsorship for this great community-building event.

We are also pleased to announce that we have retained Paul and Kimberleigh Gavin to develop a beautiful poster for next year’s event.

The Association is involved in another first: we are assisting Eielson AFB with their air show, which is being held 27 and 28 July, the weekend prior to Arctic Thunder. We are making our contracted acts available to the base for their air show, which now promises to create what amounts to an “Aviation Week” during the summer of 2016 in Alaska.

Finally, a quick word of thanks to Mr. Dave Peters, who served as president for the majority of 2015. He brought fresh ideas to the organization, and we thank him for his continuing service on the Board. I am proud to be back with such a tight-knit board whose singular focus is delivering inspiration, communication and education about Alaska’s aviation heritage in support of Arctic Thunder.

Best regards,

Bill Kontess

2016 Arctic Thunder Frequently Asked Question

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does admission cost? Admission is FREE and general parking is FREE

Transportation:  General Public Entry is restricted to either the Boniface Parkway or Fort Richardson gates only.  Motor homes and RVs are prohibited.

Permissible Items:

  • Personal carts or wheelchairs for physically challenged visitors
  • Diaper bags for guests with small children
  • Small women’s purses
  • Strollers for small children
  • Official service dogs (credentials may be requested)
  • Photo or video cameras; must be small enough to carry by hand
  • Binoculars
  • Folding chairs and lawn chairs

Recommended Items:

  • Water bottles; free water-refill stations will be available
  • Sunscreen
  • Hearing protection
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhats/baseball caps

Prohibited Items:

  • Coolers
  • Alcohol
  • Backpacks
  • Duffle bags
  • Large purses
  • Camelbacks
  • Paint
  • Balloons
  • Large camera bags
  • Illegal drugs including marijuana
  • Weapons (brass knuckles, mace, pepper spray, box cutters, firearms, knives, batons)
  • Military uniforms worn by non-military members
  • Gang or motorcycle club affiliated colors or clothing
  • Bicycles (inside the open house viewing area)
  • Motorcycles & bicycles ridden on base outside of viewing areas must wear a helmet
  • Scooters
  • Skates
  • Skateboards
  • Go-carts
  • Wagons
  • Umbrellas

All pets are prohibited from the Arctic Thunder grounds. Service animals assisting physically challenged guests will be authorized. At no time will pets be left unattended outside the area or in vehicles.

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For more information, please go to http://www.jber.af.mil/arcticthunder/

Mission & History

Mission:
While chartered to promote and support air shows at Joint Base Elmendorf Richards, the Association is really all about inspiration, commemoration and education. Aviation, whether civil or military, plays a vital role in Alaska’s history, development and every day life. The Association is proud to provide flyers and aircraft that enthusiastically promote the importance of aviation and Alaska’s aviation heritage. And we are proud to support scholarships for Alaska’s future aviators.

History:

Floyd and Angie Gori
Floyd and Angie Gori

The Alaska Air Show Association was founded in 1990 by Floyd Gori, a retired Air Force Colonel, his wife Angie, and a group of Anchorage citizens. Floyd was asked by the 21st Tactical Fighter Wing Vice Commander to assist with bringing old and new aircraft together in the spirit of community cooperation with the United States Air Force. Floyd’s group and active duty aircrew members planned the first air show event over dinner at the Officer’s Club at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Floyd was born in 1928 and served in the US Air Force for 30 years. He took part in the Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Cold War, having overseen work at Shemya Island in the Aleutians. Among the awards he received were the Korea Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Vietnam Service Medal and Air Medal. After retirement he went into several business operations, but always maintained a keen interest in airplanes and anything to do with World War II history.

Angie Gori was born in 1945, and after a year in college, became a lifelong Army Corps of Engineers employee, receiving many awards for her work. She had assignments in Vietnam, South Korea, San Diego, and finally at the Alaska District on Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson.

Each year, Floyd and Angie graciously hosted planning sessions in their home and were able to greatly expand the cooperation and support of the community with the air show. Floyd’s efforts gained the wholehearted support of local sponsors, which in turn helped the Association bring quality, world-class aerobatic performers to Arctic Thunder annually.

In 2000, The Association was formally chartered as a non-profit corporation with the State of Alaska and the IRS. The stated purpose of the Association “…is to promote and support air shows and open house activities at Elmendorf Air Force Base which enhance the military’s image and the base’s relationship with the community.”

Floyd and Angie continued to serve the Association until 2004, but remained keenly interested in the Association’s activities and growth throughout their retirement. Floyd passed away in 2013 and Angie in 2014.

Following the attacks on September 11, 2001, and due to the deployment activities supporting the Global War on Terror, the air shows at the base went to an every other year format beginning in 2004.

After joining the Board of Directors for the 2001-2 show season, Mr. Bill Kontess became the Association’s third president in 2005. Bill is a retired US Air Force civil engineer officer, and is a practicing architect and project manager in Anchorage. Under his tenure, the Association has nearly quadrupled sponsorship participation to nearly 40 local and national sponsors. The Association has also grown from supporting only Arctic Thunder, to assisting the base with welcoming festivities for the C-17 and F-22 beddown and culminating with a spectacular Centennial Celebration of Alaska Aviation, featuring 22 fly-ins around Alaska, including into the Arctic Circle. The Centennial Celebration featured numerous WWII and historic aircraft and was enthusiastically supported by residents of numerous rural communities throughout the State.

With the tightening of federal budgets, the Association has seen significant growth in community support to Arctic Thunder, allowing the Association to go from providing one or two civilian aerobatic performers to providing 4 civilian aerobatic acts and 4 warbird acts for 2016 to both Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson and Eielson AFB.

The Association remains fully committed to its charge of inspiring, commemorating and educating.

2016 Arctic Thunder Schedule:

Arctic Thunder is scheduled for July 30 and 31, 2016.

Starting at  09:00 AM Gates Open

  • JBER officially opens its gates for public entry.
Starting at  10:00 AM Opening Ceremonies

  • Alaska National Guard Flyover
  • Viper Airshows
  • CF-18 Demonstrator
  • Acemaker
  • Warbird Flyby
Starting at  12:00 PM Afternoon Events

  • Presentation:  Military Warrior Support Foundation
  • Unmanned Aerial Systems Demonstration
  • Army Band Performance
  • Anna Serbinenko
  • Team Rocket
  • Joint Force Demonstration
  • C-17 Demonstration
  • Jacquie Warda
  • F-22 Demonstration
  • Heritage Flight
  • Marcus Paine
  • Alaska STOL Demonstration
Starting at  4:00 PM Grand Finale

  • The Blue Angels
Starting at  5:00 PM Event Closes

  • Arctic Thunder ends & JBER resets for the next scheduled day.

2016 Arctic Thunder Air Show

Arctic Thunder Open House:

Arctic Thunder is scheduled for July 30 and 31, 2016.

Arctic Thunder Performers:

*Alaska Air Show provided performer

Donate

The Alaska Air Show Association offers a wide variety of sponsorship opportunities to support Alaska’s premiere aviation event, the Arctic Thunder Open House and Air Show at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson. Your sponsorship provides thrilling, nationally known aerobatic performers and warbird aircraft honoring World War II and Cold War heroes.

Sponsors have the opportunity to participate in pre air-show events, as well as enjoy various levels of recognition during the show itself.

Additionally, the Alaska Air Show Association produce radio and TV advertisement that recognizes a Sponsor’s support for the open house events. Our television ads are designed to reach over 85% of persons 25-54 over 3 times. Radio coverage typically reaches over 100,000 people over 4 times each.

The Alaska Air Show Association is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation, and all monetary sponsorship contributions are tax deductible. That means your sponsorship dollars go further, providing your company with a tax advantage and unique potential marketing opportunities on and off base. Arctic Thunder is the largest attended event in Alaska, having nearly 200,000 attendees over the course of the weekend.

Sponsorships are available at the following levels:

  • Patriot $1,500
  • Eagle $2,500
  • Freedom $5,000
  • Liberty $10,000
  • Independence $15,000
  • American $20,000
  • Flagship $50,000

The Association welcomes tax-deductible donations from individuals as well.

For more information, call (907) 273-1621 or to become a sponsor directly, or to make a tax-deductible donation, click here:

 

Sponsor Contact Form

Sponsor Arctic Thunder with the Alaska Air Show Association today! If you’d like more information about the Alaska Air Show Association sponsorship opportunities, please use our handy contact form below.

About

The Alaska Air Show Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the display of aviation to provide a venue for the community by promoting aerospace power, national defense and the mission of our Air Forces through sponsorship of base open houses and air shows throughout Alaska.

We also intend to honor those heroic aviators who have contributed so much to the growth and defense of our way of life with particular emphasis placed on educating young people to inspire them to military careers and support for a strong military.

Your 2016-2018 Corporate Officers and Board Members

 Bill Kontess – President  Dave Peters – Board Member
 Chuck Miller – Vice President  Greg MacDonald – Board Member
 Jessica Loughlin – Treasurer  Mike Bridges – Sr. Board Advisor
 Mike Loughlin – Secretary  Phil Cochrane – Board Advisor
 John Podolinsky – Board Advisor

Patty Lafond

Copyright 2013 by Patty Lafond.

Kirby Chambliss – Team Red Bull *

Photo by Sam Myers

Kirby’s aerobatic technique has amazed many through out the years. He has always
said that if he can show people something they have never seen before then he
has done his job. While he makes his skills look easy, they don’t always start
out that way! After an idea comes to mind, Kirby heads to the plane to test,
flying at a much higher altitude for safety purposes. However, not all ideas
make the final cut; while a certain skill may feel great from the plane, it
doesn’t always look that way from the ground. Members of the team stand below
and film to help Kirby make this judgment.When satisfied with the overall idea
and look of a new skill, Kirby then practices to perfect it. He progressively
flies lower and lower as he becomes more comfortable, pushing the limits and
increasing intensity! After this process, the skill is now complete; the only
thing left is to show it off!

 


You can visit his website: www.teamchambliss.com