Year of 2017

US Air Force Thunderbirds at an airshow in Smyrna, Tennessee

Flying in tight formation, the US Air Force Thunderbirds may suddenly break away, diving and climbing, only to reassemble moments later as they perform for audiences around the globe. The demonstration squadron has been active since 1953, though it was an operational squadron from 1917 to 1963. You may not know any of the Thunderbirds’ pilots, but if you know someone serving in any of the five branches of the military, thank them for their service: It’s Armed Forces Day.

The USAF Air Demonstration Squadron is the air demonstration squadron of the United States Air Force. The Thunderbirds are assigned to the 57th Wing, and are based at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Created in 1953, the USAF Thunderbirds are the third oldest formal flying aerobatic team in the world, after the United States Navy Blue Angels formed in 1946 and the prestigious French Air Force Patrouille de France formed in 1931.
Founded: 1917
Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron