Thursday, December 17, 2015

Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association announces air show marshal, entertainment lineup

Matt Gibson, air show director, and Dr. Joe Castellano, WBCA president, announce Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015 the air show marshal and entertainment lineup for the 2016 WBCA Stars & Stripes Air Show Spectacular sponsored by Miller Lite.

The Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association announced Thursday that Brig. Gen. Patrick M. Hamilton as the air show marshal for the 2016 WBCA Stars and Stripes Air Show Spectacular sponsored by Miller Lite.

Along with Hamilton the WBCA announced the entertainment lineup for the 18th annual WBCA Stars and Stripes Air Show Spectacular.

The air show will take place during the 119th Washington’s Birthday Celebration on Sunday, Feb. 14 at the Laredo International Airport (Maher entrance). 

Tickets for the event are $5 for adults and free for children 12 and under. 

Preferred seating and viewing locations will be available for purchase inside the air show grounds: flight line $20; bleachers $5. Additional sponsors include Falcon International Bank.

"We are honored to be a part of the Washington's Birthday Celebration and its efforts to bring all of Laredo together to participate and enjoy themselves,” said Kiko Treviño, vice president of Southern Distributing Company, distributors of Miller Coors products. “The Stars and Stripes Air Show has always been an opportunity for South Texas to celebrate with family and friends and to honor the accomplishments of our nation's military.”

Hamilton currently serves as the commander, domestic operations task force and the director of the Joint Staff for the Texas Military Forces at Camp Mabry in Austin. His task force is comprised of over 4,000 soldiers and airmen and provides military support to civil authorities across the state of Texas, including border security operations, counter-drug operations, hurricanes, floods, wildfires and winter storms.

“My wife and I are thrilled to be participating in such an important community event in the great city of Laredo,” Hamilton said. “My current position has allowed me to travel to Laredo numerous times in the last few years and it has become one of my favorite cities in Texas. We are extremely grateful to the Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association for the invitation and to the City of Laredo for their continued support to the Texas National Guard.”

Hamilton is also responsible for coordinating over 30 international military exchanges per year with the Czech Republic and Chile as part of the State Partnership Program. Hamilton earned his commission in 1985 from Texas A&M University and holds a bachelor of science degree in education as well as a master of strategy and security from the U.S. Army War College. He is a career armored cavalry officer and has commanded units at the platoon, company, battalion, regiment and joint task force level.

His key staff assignments include chief of staff to the adjutant general of Texas, chief of staff for the Texas Army National Guard, director of Joint Operations, and the Army National Guard assistant chief of staff for operations. His deployments include: Operation Joint Forge (Bosnia), Operations Noble Eagle and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan).

His awards include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), the Army Commendation Medal (three awards), the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the NATO Medal for service in the former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, as well as many others.

Hamilton lives in Round Rock with his wife of 27 years, Beverly, and they have three children. Hamilton and his family attend Round Rock Presbyterian Church where he has previously served as an elder. He also serves as a member of the Round Rock YMCA’s board of directors, and is a member and former board member of the Round Rock Rotary Club.

Entertainment lineup

One of the biggest and most celebrated acts in North America, the RedLine Airshows will be making its Laredo debut as co-headliner. RedLine Airshows is a two-man formation aerobatic performance team that was founded more than 10 years ago by Ken Reider and Jon Thocker. Ken Reider is a multi-engine flight instructor and serves as flight-lead for the Redline Team. Jon Thocker retired from a 25 year career as an airline captain flying heavy jets in worldwide cargo service to pursue a lifelong passion for building and flying experimental aircraft.

They fly Experimental RV-8 series aircraft that they custom built themselves. In fact between them they have built more than a dozen of these and similar aircraft. Flying their Van’s RV-8s, the aircraft is capable of speeds of up to 230 miles per hour and can land short as slow as 50 miles per hour enabling access to almost any airport. These Redline airplanes have been to the Dominican Republic, Acapulco Mexico, all the way to Alaska and just about everywhere in between. Just last year, Redline Team visited more than 15 air shows across the nation. The opposing, inverted and formation maneuvers that the Redline Aerobatic Team perform are a crowd pleaser.

Adding to the excitement is also a first for Laredo with co-headliner Kevin Coleman. Kevin is now 24-years-old and traveling the air show circuit across the country for his sixth full year. Coleman grew up in a family devoted to aviation. He was just a few weeks old when he attended his very first air show to watch his father perform. His father and older brother both flew the air show circuit throughout his childhood, so it was ordained that air show flying was in Coleman’s DNA.

After the death of legendary American aviator and air show performer Marion Cole, Coleman knew he had to find a way to continue the legacy. He auditioned for the U.S. Advanced Aerobatic Team in September 2015 and was selected to represent the U.S. in Poland in 2016.

The Trojan Phylers Demostration Team will also perform a show that is quite unique in the air show industry as they are the only all combat veteran pilot team of the T-28 aircraft. The Trojan Phylers team is piloted by highly decorated combat veteran pilots performing thrilling precision close formation aerobatic routines demonstrating the cutting edge performance of the Trojan T-28 warbird and the flying expertise acquired in formal military training.

The two-ship formation aerobatic demonstration team consists of Chip Lamb and John Sledge. Lamb flew F4 Phantoms while in active duty for the Air Force and F16’s in the Texas Air National Guard. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and retired from the U.S. military as an Air Force colonel after 30 years of service to the country.

Sledge, the demo’s team wingman, is a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel having served in Vietnam; flying F8 Crusaders from the aircraft carriers, USS Kitty Hawk, USS Ticonderoga and the USS Constellation.

Both pilots are decorated war combat veterans and have some 42,000 flight hours between them. The Trojan Phlyers have been flying air shows since 1995 and have performed at over 150 shows since 2002 from Oshkosh to Acapulco and from New Jersey to California. They provide the smoke, the thunder and the excitement as they fly their historic T-28 aircraft rich in military history in an exceptional and awe-inspiring performance and salute the veterans of our great nation and the men and women who continue to serve and protect us today.

WBCA said it’s also proud to have the “Globe of Death,” an act comprised of three motorcycle riders performing inside of a specially constructed metal globe with a finale of a woman standing in the middle while they ride around her at break-neck speeds.

Other highlights of the show include Spanky Gallawat, Kent Pietsh, Lewis Air Legends, CAF Centex, USAF, static displays provided by the Texas Military Forces, FedEx and much more.

The air show will remain one of the most affordable air shows in the country — just $5 for adults, and children 12 and under will get in free. Buy tickets online at

Tickets for the 2016 celebration events can be purchased beginning in early February at the WBCA ticket kiosk inside Mall Del Norte.


WBCA officials pose for a photo Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015 during the announcement of the air show marshal and entertainment lineup for the 2016 WBCA Stars & Stripes Air Show Spectacular. From left: Randy Blair, WBCA treasurer, Jay Puig, WBCA second vice president, Dr. Joe Castellano, WBCA president, Matt Gibson, air show director, Kiko Treviño, representing Miller Lite, Natalie Hernandez, Jackie de la Viña and Jorge Gonzalez representing Falcon International Bank, Eddie Villarreal, WBCA president-elect, and Veronica Castillon, WBCA immediate past president.

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