University of Nebraska President Hank Bounds will take part in a U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flight on Friday during the squadron’s stop at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue this week to showcase the capabilities of modern aircraft and promote opportunities available in the Air Force.
Bounds, who served in the Army National Guard, was invited to participate in the flight because of the platform that his role as president provides for him to share the Air Force story with Nebraskans. The Thunderbirds perform air shows across the country each year, often inviting people who are well-known in the community to join in as part of their mission to engage the public.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Thunderbirds for the first time,” Bounds said. “It will truly be the experience of a lifetime. The men and women who make up the Thunderbirds crew are incredibly talented, hard-working and committed to their mission. I can’t wait to join them and thank them personally for their service. We all owe a deep debt of gratitude to the men and women in uniform who keep us and our country safe.”
Members of the media are welcome to join Bounds for his pre-flight briefings and activities, and to interview him following the flight. Bounds will report to Offutt Air Force Base at 7 a.m. Friday. He will receive a briefing on the Thunderbirds; meet with a flight surgeon to learn about the effects of G forces and breathing techniques; be fitted with flight gear including a suit, harness, helmet and G-suit; and meet with his pilot, who will walk him through the maneuvers that will be performed during the flight.
Bounds’ flight begins at 10:30 a.m. It will conclude after about an hour, at which time he will be available for planeside interviews.
Interested news reporters should arrive at the Kenney Gate, located on Fort Crook Road at Offutt Air Force Base, where they can be shuttled to the flight site. Media may contact U.S. Air Force Technical Sgt. Rachelle Blake at (808) 265-9631 with on-site questions.
For more information on the Thunderbirds’ air shows Saturday and Sunday, visit http://offuttairshow.com.