WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, OH – Freedom’s Call Tattoo, scheduled for June 28, has been cancelled due to funding limitations associated with the federal budget sequestration, base officials announced March 14, 2013.

Colonel Barlow said the cancellation was driven by recent Air Force sequestration rules that restrict the use of appropriated tax dollars for such things as military air shows, open houses and other similar community outreach events. While sponsors’ donations covered much of the Tattoo costs, tax dollars were still required to complete the event.

“The Tattoo was always envisioned as a way to say ‘thank you’ to the great people of the Miami Valley who are so supportive of our Air Force,” said Col. Cassie Barlow, 88th Air Base Wing commander. “We staged some great programs, but could not have done it without the many community and business sponsors who made monetary and in-kind donations. We say ‘thank you’ to them for all their support over the years.”

“We simply cannot spend tax dollars on such events when sequestration cuts threaten to ground aircraft and furlough our civilian employees,” Colonel Barlow said.

In the meantime, base officials plan to stage a Fourth of July celebration with a fireworks display on the evening of June 28 of this year. The fireworks will be paid for with monies generated from the Base Exchange, on-base restaurants, recreation activities, etc., not tax dollars.

With the exception of 2012, when a sudden storm cancelled Tattoo, the event was held annually since 2005. It featured military and civilian aircraft flyovers, medal presentations to active-duty and veteran service members, patriotic shows by Wright-Patterson’s Air Force Band of Flight and performances by such musical attractions as the Charlie Daniels Band, .38 Special and Lone Star. Annual attendance grew to an estimated 75,000 in recent years.

The fireworks show will be held on the grounds of the National Museum of the United States Air Force and will feature food and beverage booths. More details will be announced later.

On the subject of future Tattoo events, base officials said they will determine at a later date whether a Tattoo will be held in 2014.

Source: 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs, edited for content.