Gen. Mike Holmes, Commander of Air Combat Command, has authorized the resumption of Thunderbird performances starting at Air Power over Hampton Roads at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., May 19-20, 2018.
Holmes made this determination based on recommendations of leadership from the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, 57th Wing and U.S. Air Force Warfare Center, as well as a careful review of the team’s safety, training and operational practices.
“The Thunderbirds look forward to safely resuming public shows at Air Power over Hampton Roads,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Walsh, Thunderbird 1, Commander/Leader.
“It’s been challenging to get us to this point, but the team is resilient, focused and ready to get back to our mission of recruiting, retaining and inspiring.”
The Thunderbirds will transit to Joint Base Langley-Eustis early in the week leading up to the show to provide additional practice time.
The return to regular performances is a pivotal milestone for the Thunderbirds as they recover from their first fatal mishap in 36 years.
“We are extremely grateful for the support, faith and confidence of our senior Air Force leadership as we prepare to showcase our United States Air Force to the public once more,” Walsh said. “As we hit the road, we’ll carry on our wingman’s legacy with pride.”
An investigation remains underway into the cause of the mishap. A report will be made available to the public once complete.