The 2011 Rhode Island National Guard Open House and Air Show is rapidly approaching. This year the Blue Angels will be back! Additionally this year is also the Centennial of Naval Aviation, and such an important time for reflecting on how far we have come over the last century. Since its inception the airplane was quickly recognized as a formidable tool and weapon. While this has not been without its pitfalls, such as the literal and figurative disconnect that can develop between the the commanders flying overhead in the air above and the troops down on the ground. As one could imagine looking down upon you troops is not good, but yet looking down on your enemy is. So, despite the potential pitfalls, aviation has enabled deep penetration behind enemy lines and has created a world of globalization where where all people of the world are connected to one another for better or worst.

The airplane has bridged great divides and proven that first flying above the fray is now pivotal to winning and subsequently controlling the ground. Hearts and minds must still be won on the ground, but control of the sky grants us freedom of action and movement. Accordingly, the Air Show each year demonstrates this, and they do so especially well in the combined arms demonstration. Which is one of the most powerful demonstrations, which illustrates of how controlling the air can lead to successful victory on the ground. Since in the demonstration they control not only the air, but put boots on the ground as well.

Naval aviation takes it yet a step further combing a third element: the seas. The ocean has long been known as a symbol of power and strength, and the high seas as place of freedom. Bringing the airplane into it gives us the ability to move in 3 dimensional space. The only place the airplane cannot go is under the sea, but that is whole other domain. Thus, the two most expensive crafts in the Navy’s arsenal are the Aircraft carrier and the submarine. Nonetheless, the aircraft is still the most visible symbol of power in the world.

As in years past the show will open with a jump from the Black Daggers, weather permitting, and will likely be followed by a series of stunt flying and various demonstrations throughout the morning and afternoon. The Blue Angels will headline and finish the show. Usually they can still fly most aircraft even if the weather gets bad, but since they must fly such tight precision maneuvers on a visual flight plan (they need visual cues as well as their instruments to fly such tight formations) most performers would have to cut the higher altitude maneuvers that require a much higher flight ceiling.

Again the air show will be the on the 25th & 26th this weekend. Gates open at 9am and the show starts at 10am. It ends around 4 to 4:30pm

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