For the past 30 years, the Air Force Reserve, headquartered at Robins Air Force Base, has brought the Independence Day Concert to Warner Robins.
They supply the band and its reserve pilots who provide the beautiful F-15 flyover at the start of the concert.
Their services and missions at Robins are many, but the test flight squadron may be one of the most visible. They fly planes over the Robins region almost every day.
Lt. Col. Dan Badia, call-name "Gus", is one of four reserve pilots who test F-15's for imperfections after overhauls at the depot. He said, "They put it back together, and we take it out."
He and Major Steve D'Amico, call name "Ritalin", check every system on the ground and in the air. D'Amico said, "Were never going to let the airplanes go unless were 100-percent certain that everything's OK."
They fly the planes past the sound barrier. Badia said, "We go supersonic. You hear that sonic boom sometimes."
The pilots take the aircraft to enormous heights. Badia said, "We take it up to 9G's. Right now, you're sitting at one G, one times the force of gravity."
Then, and only then, do they release the aircraft back to the front lines.
Reservists do the same test work on C-130's and C-5's.
Lt. Col. John Nowak tests the C-130's. He said, "Were checking everything."
Nowak, a Delta pilot in his civilian life, says when you see planes circling Robins, it's most likely a reservist in the cockpit. He said, "They all live here locally, so they're all part of the community everyday."
Sometimes test flights never get off the ground. Badia and D'Amico found a problem with the cooling system on an F-15 last Thursday, and couldn't take off. That's not a bad thing, but precisely why they do the job, said D'Amico.
He said, "Should help people sleep better at night, that by the time the jet goes back to the combat Air Force and front line fighter squads using these aircraft as weapons, they're 100-percent good to go."
Lt. Col. Dan Badia says he will be in one of the F-15's Monday night as it flies over McConnell-Talbert. He knows it's a cool sight for the crowd on the ground, but the pilots are equally excited to be part of the show, and added it's a great view of what's happening down below.