By Julie M. Lucas
NAS Jax Deputy Public Affairs Officer
U.S. Navy air shows involve many moving parts, which include planning and coordinating hundreds of tasks - from those who schedule the performers to those who direct traffic and clean up after each day's events.
For the 2017 NAS Jax Air Show, scheduled for Nov. 4-5, a diverse team of professionals join together with a shared vision to create what is expected to be two spectacular days of high-flying entertainment for hundreds of thousands of spectators. Nov. 3 is scheduled to be a dress rehearsal that is open to all active duty personnel, Reservists, retirees and their families - as well as school children.
Historically, nearly 5,000 school-aged children have attended the rehearsal air show.
Senior leadership from NAS Jax, including Air Operations, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR), and Security Departments along with local military and civilian organizations, have spent more than a year planning and preparing for the 2017 show.
"A successful air show hinges upon precision planning and efficiency in execution, beginning with a properly organized air show committee," said Cmdr. David Cordova, NAS Jax assistant operations officer and air show coordinator. "The entire committee has worked extremely hard over the last 12 months to ensure the success of this air show."
Cordova is not new to air shows, but this is his first time as air show coordinator.
"Thankfully we have numerous individuals from previous years' events still attached to the command and the base," Cordova said. "Their prior experience has been invaluable throughout this entire planning process."
Sponsorship plays an important role in the success of an air show. NAS Jax's MWR Department is active from the beginning of the planning process to make sure the financial support is there to put together a successful air show.
"In January we started this process of signing up sponsors for the show," said Morgan Kehnert, MWR marketing and sponsorship director.
"In order to support the air show financially including paying the performers, fuel for the jets and selling advertising to help us get the word out about the show, sponsorship and vendors are crucial. If you do not have sponsors, you will not have a successful show."
For Gary Loth, NAS Jax Security Department air show coordinator, planning and communication has been his focus since he became involved with the event six months ago.
"We haven't done an air show in a few years," said Loth. "And for some of the officers, this is their first time working this event. The first thing I did was to reach out to those who have done been involved in the air show, contact outside agencies, and get everybody together to work out all the details."
Several local agencies are working with NAS Jax Security Department to help provide force protection measures that have been established to meet numerous air show safety and security requirements.
"We are grateful for all the support we get from the local law enforcement community and other agencies," said Loth. "We open up this base to the community and we have to maintain safety. A successful show is one with no injuries. Everyone comes on the base, enjoys the show and leaves safely."
The air show will host civilian and military performers and also feature static displays of military aircraft from the 1940s all the way to the modern era.
"This year's civilian performers are the best in the air show industry and are truly some of the most entertaining pilots in the world," said Cordova. "They range from highly dynamic acrobatic performances to daredevil wing walkers to the always crowd pleasing 300-mph jet school bus.  We will also be showcasing the Navy's aviation legacy through the performances of the F4U-5NL Corsair and the A-4 Skyhawk.
"The Air Force's F-22 Demonstration Team will also perform precision aerial maneuvers to demonstrate the unique capabilities of the world's only operational fifth-generation fighter aircraft. They also team up with the A-10 Warthog and P-51 Mustang to present the Air Force Heritage flight," said Cordova.
The air show supports NAS Jax's distinct heritage as being the "Birthplace of the Blue Angels" in 1946.  This year's air show features the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, who will take to the air at 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday for an unforgettable aerial performance.
"Considering that NAS Jax has not hosted an air show in three years," said Cordova. "I anticipate the weekend crowd to be at or above 200,000 spectators."

Traffic Patterns
& Base Access Procedures
for 2017 NAS Jax Air Show

The Birmingham Gate will not be open to the general public. It will only be open to individuals with authorized base access (Government ID Card). This is to allow for normal daily business and commute aboard the installation south of Yorktown Avenue.
The primary entry gates for the air show will be the Yorktown (Main) Gate and the Allegheny (Commercial) Gate.
If you are traveling north on U.S. 17 you will be directed to the Yorktown (Main) Gate for air show access and event parking. As you enter on Yorktown Avenue, all traffic lanes will provide you with access to a designated parking location. Traffic signs and police officers will direct you into an authorized parking zone. Do not disrupt traffic flow or delay other visitors by attempting to drive around traffic control points.
If you are travelling to the air show south on U.S. 17 you will be directed to the Allegheny (Commercial) Gate for air show access and event parking.
The entire air show event will be restricted to airfield locations north of Yorktown Avenue. Visitors will not be allowed south of Yorktown Avenue ay any time during the weekend event. Upon completion of each daily show the traffic patterns will be reversed to assist visitors in exiting the installation safely.
Schedule of Events
Friday, Nov. 3
(Practice Air Show - Not open to public)
& Saturday, Nov. 4
10:15-10:27 a.m.  SOCOM Flag Jump
10:28-10:36 a.m. Sean Tucker Teaser
10:37-10:45 a.m. Matt Chapman Teaser
10:4-10:54 a.m. Rob Holland Teaser
10:55-11:03 a.m. Skip Stewart Teaser
11:04-11:12 a.m. Patty Wagstaff Teaser
11:13-11:23 a.m. AF Heritage Flight
11:24-11:34 a.m. Matt Chapman
11:35-11:45 a.m. Jet Truck
11:46-11:58 a.m. Randy Ball
11:59 a.m.-12:11 p.m. Bob Carlton
12:12-12:25 p.m. Matt Younkin
12:37-12:49 p.m. Rob Holland
12:50-1:02 p.m. Lee Lauderback
1:02-1:12 p.m F-15 Fly Over
1:13 - 1:28 p.m. Skip Stewart
1:28 - 1:38 p.m. Jet Truck
1:39 - 1:49 p.m. P-3C "Orion" and P-8A "Poseidon"
1:50-2:05 p.m Patty Wagstaff
2:06-2:26 p.m SOCOM Para Commandos
2:27-2:39 p.m Matt Chapman /Rob Holland
2:40-2:55 Sean Tucker
3-4 p.m U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron
The Blue Angels
Sunday, Nov. 5
10:15-10:27 a.m. SOCOM Flag Jump
10:28-10:36 a.m. Patty Wagstaff Teaser
10:37-10:45 a.m. P-3 "Orion" & P-8A "Poseidon"
10:46-10:54 a.m. Jet Truck
10:55-11:03 a.m. Randy Ball
11:04-11:12 a.m. Matt Chapman
11:13-11:23 a.m. AF Heritage
11:24-11:34 a.m. Rob Holland
11:35-11:45 a.m. Bob Carlton
11:46-11:58 a.m. Matt Younkin
11:59 a.m.-12:11 p.m. Lee Lauderback
12:12-12:25 p.m. Skip Stewart
12:50-1:02 p.m. Jet Truck
1:02-1:12 p.m F-15 Fly Over
1:13-1:28 p.m Patty Wagstaff
1:28-1:38 p.m SOCOM Para Commandos
1:39-1:49 p.m Matt Chapman/Rob Holland
1:50-2:05 p.m Sean Tucker
2:06-3:06 p.m. U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration
The Blue Angels
**Performance times are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.