MHAFB and Gowen Field train for Thunderbird airshow

Posted at 4:09 PM, May 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-02 18:09:37-04

For the first time in decades, Boise's Gowen Field will host a major air show this Fall that includes the Air Force Thunderbirds.

And in preparation, crews at both Gowen and Mountain Home practiced a first of it's kind emergency fire drill.

At Mountain Mome, crews know that fighting jet fuel fires is fact of life in the Air Force.
So, they train monthly to prepare.

"The importance is to get the mess ups out of the way to be honest," says crew chief Tyler Ford, "If we're going to mess up do it during training."
But this particular training is a rare occurance.

"This is the first time we're doing a joint exercise with Gowen base in history." says James Mulhall with the 366th Fighter Wing.
And with the pride of the Air Force coming to Boise later this year, coordination and communication between Gowen and Mountain Home are key.

"We did this exercise today to prepare for the airshow at Gowen this fall."
And the crews at Mountain Home are no strangers to the complications an airshow presents.
In 2003 they were tested when a Thunderbird pilot bailed out less than a second before his F-16 hit the ground at Mountain Home.
But crews at Gowen know how to handle jet fuel fires too, so this exercise was mainly about teamwork.

"The important part of this exercise is to make sure we can all talk together." says Mulhall.
That way, as planes are coming and going between Gowen and Mountain Home, both sides will be ready for anything.