MIDWEST CITY – Tinker Air Force Base will hold public tours of the AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) during its weekend air show.

The Star Spangled Salute air show is scheduled to be held at Tinker Air Force Base on June 1 and 2.

Admission is free and open to the public.

The US Navy Blue Angels, Vietnam Combat Search and Rescue w/PYRO and Various warbirds are scheduled to perform.

31 AWACS aircrafts are currently based at Tinker. They have been since the late 1970’s.

“It’s almost like that offense of defensive coordinator in a football game,” said Colonel Geoffrey Weiss, 552nd Air Control Wing Commander. “They are able to see everything that is happening in the air space and they are able to take that information and turn it into war winning effects.”

What makes the aircraft unique is it's 6 ft. tall, 30 ft. wide radar helping with anything from disaster relief to combat operations.

“We have foreign nations that are typically probing our borders, you might of heard in Alaska for example the Russians have flown near that area,” said Weiss. “I think without commanding control and battle management that our weapons system provides, we cannot synchronize all of those operations across the battle space.“

Upgrades continue to the AWACS, as does new training for crews. It’s a proactive approach to safety.

“It’s a dynamic environment out there, you read about it in the papers every day,” said Weiss. “We are staying one step ahead with our training and our weapons systems here at Tinker.”

The Star Spangled Salute air show is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

It has been several years since the public has been allowed inside an AWACS.