SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – After two decades, Air Combat Command in Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia has resurrected one of the most honored competitions in aviation — The William Tell Air-to-Air Weapons Meet.
Savannah has always played a significant role in U.S. air defense. In 1916, the Army established a flying school on the outskirts of town, and by the 1940s, the Savannah Air National base was training pilots for World War II. Now, the base is home to the 165th Airlift Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard and the Air Dominance Center.
This week, the base welcomed fighter wings from around the nation. Top fighting wings often come here for drill exercises, but this week they’re here to compete. Savannah is hosting the nation’s most elite teams as they perform under pressure. By this Friday, they’ll name the best fighter pilot in the nation.
The competitions will take place at the Air Dominance Center, but there will be a lot of noise in Savannah over the next week. And it’s not all fun and games.
“When you hear the jets flying overhead, keep in mind that everyone is working hard to make this happen,” said Maj. “Dodge” Getschow. “While it is fun to fly and fun to do our jobs, it’s intense. So it’s competition. We’re doing this because we are the best military in the world.”
The William Tell Air-to-Air Weapons Meet also serves to reinvigorate air dominance and display the Air Force’s lethal capabilities. Maj. Joseph “Stone” Walz tells us why they chose Savannah for the meet.
“This competition, it is driven by the Air Force writ large, and they had the entire United States to pick where they were going to come and do this competition, and they chose Savannah, which is exactly where we want to be. They chose the Air Dominance Center because of not only what we have here, but the community that surrounds it.”
William Tell will take place at the Air Dominance Center all week, and there will be a demo above the beaches of Tybee Island this Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. That event is free and open to the public.