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Thunderbirds Cancel At Frontier Days, Other Sites Due To Budget Battle

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Andy Benavides of Centennial took this photo of the Thunderbirds above the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony on May 25, 2011.

Andy Benavides of Centennial took this photo of the Thunderbirds above the Air Force Academy graduation ceremony on May 25, 2011.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – The Air Force Thunderbirds may not make their traditional appearance at Cheyenne Frontier Days this year because the team has been grounded by the budget battle in Washington.

Thunderbirds spokesman Maj. Darrick Lee said Tuesday the team canceled about 58 appearances between April 1 and the end of the season in November to save money amid mandatory spending cuts.

Lee says the cancellations will allow the Air Force to shift more flying time and resources into combat training. It wasn’t immediately clear how much money the move would save.

The Thunderbirds were scheduled to appear at Frontier Days on July 24. They also canceled their traditional flyover and air show at the Air Force Academy graduation in Colorado in May.

This is the Thunderbirds’ 60th anniversary year.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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