RI National Guard cancels 2019 air show

South County

NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — A high number of anticipated deployments in 2019 has forced the Rhode Island National Guard to cancel next summer’s Open House Air Show.

Hundreds of key members will be called to federal duty overseas in the coming months, according to a spokesperson for the R.I. National Guard.

It’s the first time in the air show’s history that the level of deployment has impacted the event.

“Since the 1991 inception of the RING Open House Air Show, opening our doors to the public has been an annual highlight for our organization and its members,” Major Gen. Christopher Callahan said in a statement. “With this anticipated federal mobilization commitment in 2019, we have been presented with a difficult decision regarding our ability to safely and effectively conduct this public event.

“The volume, timing, and the particular trained skill sets of the more than 500 Soldiers and Airmen who will be away during the traditional timeframe of the Open House Air Show presents a unique challenge,” he continued. “Ultimately, we could neither compromise the training and support of those being deployed, nor the planning and conducting of our Open House Air Show. As such, we regrettably must forego the event in 2019. The RING is grateful for the tremendous support we continuously receive from Rhode Islanders, our friends, and neighbors.”

The National Guard said it expects to hold its next air show in 2020.

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