PENDLETON - The air show planned for June 12 has been canceled due to the impending deployment of the Army National Guard helicopter unit based in Pendleton.

Mike Short, president of the Pendleton Air Museum, said members of the National Guard unit provide substantial support to the event.

"With overseas deployment imminent, military equipment and resources are in very short supply, so it would not be fitting to expect the Guard's full participation at this point," he said.

However, the popular "Bombs Away!" Big Band Ball will go ahead that evening as planned, as will the National Weather Service open house from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. that had been planned in conjunction with the air show.

Short said it would be difficult to line up "as much armed forces hardware as we'd like to put on the best possible presentation" with so many National Guard units involved in deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Trying to push ahead under the circumstances would be a financial risk, he added.

Short said the plan now is to hold the air show again next year and continue it on a biannual basis. The Pendleton air show was first held in 2002 and again last year.

The June 12 "Bombs Away!" Ball will serve as a special patriotic community send-off for Oregon National Guard personnel slated for a tour of duty in Afghanistan and to honor those in the detachment already serving in Iraq, Short said.

"We deeply desire for these people to know that their community cares about them," Short said. "So it is appropriate that they be our guests of honor at this event. We also wish to thank the many local supporters and those from Washington and Idaho who have helped stage the air show in the past and volunteered to do so again this year.

Short noted that next year's air show will be the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Additional information about the Air Museum is available at www.pendletonairmusem.org.

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