Touted as the DOD’s largest open house and air show, the 2012 Joint Service Open House and Air Show is scheduled to take place this weekend, May 18-20, as Team Andrews celebrates 100 years of Marine Corps aviation.
As thousands of aviation enthusiasts converge on the Andrews flightline, one thing is clear: Awesome is in the air, and on the ground.
As dazzling displays of aerial daring bedevil your eyes above, and a smorgasbord of static displays on the ground take your breath away, know that Team Andrews also wants you to remain safe as you venture through JSOH 2012.
These tips, brought to you by yours truly, Tip Tipperson, will help you make the most out of your JSOH 2012 experience:
Arrive early and leave late As we in the National Capital Region know, traffic can turn the best of days into a world of rage. To avoid some of the traffic jams that occur every year with JSOH, plan your commute to avoid peek traffic times. Should you find yourself in a pickle of a parking debacle at FedEx Field, or in a frustrating stand-still on I-495, keep a cool head. Road rage isn’t going to get you anywhere any faster.
Don't touch the static display aircraft -- Many aircraft in static displays have delicate pieces inside and out that can be damaged, broken or bent with relative ease. Some of these birds are old, rare and extremely expensive to keep in operation. Unless someone in authority invites you to do so, keep your mitts to yourself!
Don't smoke around aircraft -- Planes in a static display may vent fuel vapors as temperatures rise throughout the day. Also, some fabric-covered aircraft have coatings that are highly flammable. For this reason, designated smoking areas have been established. If you can’t follow the smoking rules, butt out!
Have a plan -- If you are in a group, discuss where you will meet if you get separated. If you have children with you, make sure they know they can ask anyone in uniform for assistance.
Don't litter There are more than treats for the eyes and ears at the 2012 JSOH! Some of the best food in the world will be right here on the flightline. Please keep your containers, drink bottles ect. from blowing around the flight line. Garbage cans will be plentiful and emptied regularly.
Have situational awareness -- There are often vehicles or machinery moving around public areas, such as the static displays, so be sure you look where you’re going and watch out for the Blue Angels, because you might find yourself nose-to-nose with an ambulance. (Don’t ask how this reporter knows.)
Wear comfortable shoes -- You may cover several miles before the day is done, and flippy-floppys aren’t so ergonomic.
Be respectful of others We are all here to have fun, so treat others with respect. A little patience and understanding can go a long way when tempers flare. Plus, we have cops. With weapons. And maybe a few secret ninjas. Yeah, we could be lying about the Ninjas, but you wouldn’t know you had seen a ninja until it was too late anyway. And you couldn’t Tweet about it, because you would be dead.
Don’t bring prohibited items Unless you don’t want them back, that is. Check your pockets against the prohibited items list.
Know the rules Read the security rules below and make sure you abide by them. We aren’t doing this to be difficult, so don’t be ignorant and ignore the rules.
SECURITY RULES, INSECURITY DROOLS
We are committed to ensuring visitors have a fun and safe experience during this year's Joint Service Open House and Air Show. In order to ensure everyone's safety, we ask that you observe the following guidelines.
Weapons are prohibited. All persons, vehicles and hand carried items are subject to search at anytime while on the installation. There is a no tolerance standard for fighting or protesting at anytime. Failure to follow the rules will result in prosecution and removal from the installation. Narcotics and paraphernalia are strictly prohibited. Smoking is permitted in designated smoking areas that are clearly marked. Smoking around any aircraft is strictly prohibited at all times. All patrons are also highly encouraged to wear sunscreen.
The following items are acceptable to bring with you to the show.
Small Coolers (Medical Purposes Only)
Camera Bags (Smaller than 1 cubic foot)
Portable Lawn Chairs
Collapsible tripods and monopods
All other coolers (hard or soft, unless medically required)
Camelpacks (the water backpacks, not the packs of cigarettes)
Narcotics and Paraphernalia
Camera bags (Larger than 1 cubic foot)
Roller blades, skates, and skateboards
Weapons (including, but not limited to knives, firearms, explosives, bio/radiological substances)
Beverages, open or closed (except baby formula)
No political activity
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Question: When is the air show?
A: The Joint Service Open House is May 18 (for DOD-members only) and on May 19 and 20 it is open to the public.
Question: How much is the event?
A: The Joint Service Open House is free for all.
Question: Where do we park?
A: Civilians may park at FedEx Field or Branch Ave, DOD-authorized members may park on base.
Question: Does the air show still take place when it rains?
A: Yes, but demonstrations may not depending on the severity of weather conditions.
Question: Where can I find a schedule of events?
A: The schedule is posted at www.jsoh.org/schedule.html.
Question: Can I bring guests in with my DOD ID card (ie, non-DOD employees) on Friday?
A: DOD members may escort as many non-DOD members as will fit with seatbelts, in their own vehicle.
Question: Where do we park for the event Friday?
A: Once on base, DOD members will be directed to specified parking locations.
Question: Will the shuttle buses run from Branch Ave Metro or FedEx Field on Friday?
A: There will be no shuttle service on May 18.
Question: My father is 75 years old and he needs a wheel chair to walk around. Can I bring the wheelchair to the open house?
A: Yes, wheelchairs are allowed; all metro vehicles are handicapped accessible. Once at FedEx Field or Branch Avenue Metro station, you will be directed to handicap accessible shuttle busses which will bring you to the show
Question: Please define DOD ID card credentials.
A: Identification which is issued and authorized by the Department of Defense to obtain access to DOD installations.
Question: Can arrangements be made for handicap parking or drop-off/pickup close to a seating area?
A: Unfortunately, we do not have shuttle service to/from drop off/pickup locations to the seating area due to foot traffic and aircraft proximity.
Question: Can individuals with development disabilities attend the air show on Friday?
A: Yes, if they are escorted by a DOD-authorized member.
Question: Is there closer parking available to avoid taking a shuttle or metro?
A: Unfortunately, there are no closer parking lots available, and due to security restrictions there is no foot traffic permitted through any gate.
Question: Are we allowed to bring in chairs or is there seating available?
A: Yes, visitors are allowed to bring lawn chairs to place near the viewing area only.
Question: Can members of the public (non-press) bring video cameras or photo cameras to the Joint Service Open House 2012 and Air Show?
A: Yes, members of the public are allowed to bring cameras.
Question: We have young kids we'd like to bring, but want to know when it starts so we can plan for nap time. When will visitors be able to get on base?
A: Shuttles from FedEx Field begin shuttling guests at 8 a.m.