Thunder Over the Rock returns to Little Rock Air Force Base

Photos by Bill Patterson

The Little Rock Air Force Base’s first air show since 2018 took place Oct. 21-22. The event was free to the public.

Headlining the air show was the Air Force’s premier demonstration team, the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, better known as the Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds performed incredible formations, including sharp turns, loops, rolls and inverted rolls, displaying the pride, precision and professionalism the U.S. Air Force represents.

Thunder Over the Rock spectators also had an up-close and personal view of the mission at Team Little Rock as they performed during the C-130 capabilities exercise (CAPEX). The CAPEX is a unique joint display of effects which demonstrates an airfield seizure operation, showcasing Team Little Rock’s trademark teamwork and precision aerial skills. Also featured in the CAPEX was the A-10 Thunderbolt II from the 358th Fighter Squadron at Whiteman AFB, Missouri, the venerable workhorse UH-60s Blackhawks from the Arkansas Army National Guard’s 77th Theater Aviation Brigade at Camp Robinson, and 200 Army paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Liberty, N.C.

Along with the Thunderbirds performance and CAPEX, there were performances by the Air Force F-35 Demonstration Team, the Army Golden Knights parachute team, the Air Force Academy Wings of Blue Parachute Jump Team, the Aftershock Jet Truck, “Tora, Tora, Tora,” a commemorative recreation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and more. Additionally, there was a variety of modern and historic aircraft on display.