Profile - The CAF Red Tail Project

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South St. Paul, MN, United States
The mission of the Commemorative Air Force's (CAF) Red Tail Squadron is to preserve and share the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America's first black military pilots. The Airmen served with distinction during WWII (and beyond). They overcame racism on the ground to fight fascism in the air, fighting for a country that turned a blind eye to policies and a large population that discriminated against these men and their families because of the color of their skin. The CAF Red Tail Squadron restored and flies a red-tailed P-51C Mustang such as the Airmen flew during WWII. The airplane appears at air shows in North America and at each stop her crew tells the story of the Airmen and how through persistence and courage they overcame huge obstacles in order to serve in the military. In 2011, the CAF Red Tail Squadron developed a traveling exhibit called "RISE ABOVE" to educate people - especially young people - about the Airmen and how they demonstrated the importance of setting goals and overcoming obstacles in order to succeed.

Friday, December 2, 2011

ICAS Convention

     The International Council of Air Shows (ICAS) will open its 44th annual Convention on Sunday in Las Vegas.  More than 1,340 people are already registered and ICAS believes another 200-250 will register onsite.
     The ICAS Convention is a combination of education and networking.  The education part includes more than 60 hour-long presentations focused on aspects of air show management.  There will also be a few longer presentations on topics like Air/Ground Operations Training. The networking takes place all over the site, but the exhibit hall is a hot spot because air show acts and companies that offer services to help air shows succeed have their booths there. ICAS is also where the military flight teams like the Blue Angels announce their next year’s schedule which really gets the buzz going.
     A delegation of six people from the CAF Red Tail Squadron team will attend this year’s ICAS Convention and the Squadron will have a booth in the exhibit hall close by the Commemorative Air Force’s.  The Squadron team anticipates speaking with many air show directors from around the country about the prospect of bringing the red-tailed P51-C Mustang and the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit to their shows.
     Our air show coordinator, Marvona Welsh, will be one of those attending on behalf of the Squadron. This will be her ninth ICAS; the previous eight she attended as part of her job coordinating appearances of two B-25s for the Disabled American Veterans organization. 
     Marvona will also be presenting an hour-long seminar on volunteer management, something she has done for seven years.  She really knows her stuff and is happy to share her experience with others.  She said, “The educational aspect of the ICAS Convention is really important.  The presentations are designed to help the air show community put on the best shows possible. This year, attendees can hear speakers on topics like how to create online tickets, how to prepare the airfield for the show (don’t forget to water any grass early and often if you’re going to have pyrotechnics so no stray sparks can start a fire!), using social media to publicize the show, and so forth.  The presentations are varied and interesting and very well-attended.”
     While we can’t guarantee that we’ll have a full schedule of appearances for the Mustang and the RISE ABOVE Traveling Exhibit nailed down by next Wednesday when ICAS ends, we’ll certainly know more then than we do now!  We can’t wait to share the Squadron’s 2012 air show schedule with you and will do so as soon as possible.
The CAF Red Tail Squadron is a volunteer-driven 501c3 non-profit organization that operates under the auspices of the Commemorative Air Force. For more information, please visit

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