JACKSONVILLE, Ark – Aerial thrills are on their way back to Arkansas as the Little Rock Air Force Base announced the USAF Thunderbirds will participate in the returning Thunder Over The Rock Air Show in 2023.

This will be the first Thunder Over The Rock since the cancellation of the 2020 show due to the COVID-19 health emergency. The 2023 show will take place October 21 and 22.

“We are thrilled to announce that Thunder Over The Rock will return to Little Rock Air Force Base next year featuring the Thunderbirds,” Col. Angela Ochoa, 19th Airlift Wing and installation commander said. “While the air show serves to showcase how the Home of Herk Nation supports our nation’s defense, it also serves as a ‘thank you’ to our outstanding communities for their continued support. Mark your calendars and come join us for the air show we have longed to bring you these last few years!” 

The Thunderbirds are a six-plane arial demonstration team flying F-16 Fighting Falcons, a high-performance fighter aircraft. Demonstrations include formation flying in near-to-ground aerobatic maneuvers, and single-aircraft demonstrations of precision and performance.

Since the 2020 cancellation, the air base has staged two aerial reviews, where overflights of the community were performed. The most recent was C-130J Hercules aircraft in formation with a vintage World War II C-47 Skytrain transport aircraft leading the formation, in celebration of the base’s 65th anniversary last October.

Base officials said the planning for the October 2023 airshow is continuing, with additional performers and static displays expected to be announced as show organizing continues.

“We are still in the early phases of planning, but are excited to be able to open our gates again for an event that is free and open to the public to demonstrate our gratitude by offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what the community partnership and support make possible every day here at the Home of Herk Nation,” Capt. Jessica Cicchetto, 19th Airlift Wing public affairs chief stated.