Thunder Over Dover 2022 reunites community

  • Published
  • By Roland Balik
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Dover Air Force Base held the 2022 Thunder Over Dover Airshow and Open House, in which the base to host more than 75,000 members of the community, May 21-22.

The theme of this year’s event was “Reunite” and coincided with Armed Forces Day, the Air Force’s 75th anniversary and featured the co-headlining acts of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, and the U.S. Air Force Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds.”

“This year is kind of unique. We have two jet teams, it’s kind of unheard of,” said Lt. Col. David Caswell, 436th Operations Group chief of standardization and evaluation and this year’s airshow director. “It’s the only show in America that is planned with the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds [being at the same airshow in 2022].”

In addition to the two headliners, the open house featured modern and vintage aircraft, static displays and aerial demonstrations including the U.S. Marine Corps Harrier demonstration team and a flyover by a B-2 Spirit.

“It’s our opportunity to interact with our local community and give something back to them because they support us in a multitude of ways, and it’s our time to put a show on for them to demonstrate the capabilities of all Department of Defense assets and people, and really showcase our [Team] Dover Airmen,” Caswell said.

By early Saturday afternoon, the first day of the event, an estimated crowd of nearly 45,000 were seated among various static displays, including the C-5M Super Galaxy, C-17 Globemaster III, KC-46 Pegasus and several fighter aircraft to watch the aerial performers take to the skies.

“You can stand here and watch the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels and the hair on the back of your neck just rises,” said retired Master Sgt. Ron Madden, who drove from Sewell, New Jersey, to see the show. “It was fantastic!”

The open house also featured a variety of booths with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, interactive displays, as well as a kid’s zone and many vendor booths from local businesses.

Col. Matt Husemann, 436th Airlift Wing commander, met with many members of the community who attended the weekend’s events, thanking them for their continued support of Dover AFB Airmen.

“Thunder Over Dover was phenomenal,” Husemann said. “I would like to say ‘thank you’ to the entire community for coming together, allowing us to showcase airpower and provide an opportunity to reunite. Thanks to the entire Delaware area for making this a success; you all rock!”