MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. (Dec. 10, 2021) — When it comes to military air shows, MCAS Cherry Point sets the standard sky-high. The 2021 MCAS Cherry Point Air Show received three awards at the International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) convention in Las Vegas.
The awards presented to MCAS Cherry Point were the:
- 2021 Pinnacle Platinum Award
- 2021 Dick Schram Memorial Community Relations Award
- 2021 Blue Angels Military Air Show of the Year
All three awards highlight excellence in the air show industry, with the Pinnacle Platinum being the highest honor. Show planners believe this is the first time an air show has been awarded all three in the same year.
“We should all be proud of these achievements,” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Mikel Huber, commanding officer MCAS Cherry Point, “Receiving these awards is a testament to the incredible team effort and hard work everyone put in, and the Schram Award is a direct reflection of the strong bond between the air station and the local community.”
This is Cherry Point’s first to receive both the Pinnacle and Dick Schram awards, and its third award from the Blue Angels. The air station was awarded the Blue Angels Show of the Year in 2010, making it the first military show to win this accolade, and again in 2016. The Blue Angels have since delineated the award between military and civilian shows. Past honors also include Cherry Point winning the 2018 USA Today’s Readers’ Choice Award, which is selected by fans and spectators.
The awards demonstrate the air station’s excellence in the ability to plan, host, and execute a safe world-class air show in under four months. The typical planning cycle is a two-year endeavor.
“The compressed planning timeline came with formidable challenges, including a litany of COVID-19 mitigation protocols, flight line construction projects, and logistical constraints,” said Robert Rice, airshow director and director of operations. “The successful premium quality air show demonstrates the commitment and dedication from the planners, support staff, performers, community sponsors and volunteers that made it happen.”
MCAS Cherry Point delivered a two-day air show to nearly 80,000 spectators on Sept. 25-26, 2021. Held on the 80th anniversary of the air station, the show remains MCAS Cherry Point and 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing’s immense, community outreach event that is a show of appreciation to its regional neighbors and community partners for their enduring support in mission success.
In a letter of recommendation for award consideration, the Mayor of Havelock, William Lewis, said, “The 2021 Cherry Point Air Show was one of the first events held in our area that brought our community together again. Cherry Point’s commitment and tireless efforts to provide entertainment in a safe manner was consistently described by spectators as an unforgettable experience to last a lifetime.”
Cherry Point has conducted 54 air shows, the first dating back to May 20, 1950.
The next air show is tentatively planned for spring of 2024.
(U.S. Marine Corps release by Capt. Joshua A. Schubert)