JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. --
The thundering roar of aircraft and crowds at the Joint Base Andrews 2022 Air & Space Expo came to an end on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. The JBA community celebrated the Air Force’s 75th anniversary this weekend by showcasing decades of air superiority for over 60,000 guests and over 36,000 live-stream viewers.
Attendees from around the country saw nearly 40 static displays of aircraft, such as the AC-130J Ghostrider, the B-52H Stratofortress and the KC-46 Pegasus. They also witnessed 13 amazing aerial performances, including the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds,” the F-35 Lighting II Demonstration Team and some F-16 Fighting Falcons. Attendees also had the chance to glance back in time and see World War II and Korean War-era aircraft, including P-51 Mustangs, a B-29 Superfortress and many more.
There were also civilian performers that had the opportunity to showcase their abilities. Ladies for Liberty, Rob Holland AeroSports, AFTERSHOCK and others performed for the crowds of guests.
Guests were also able to visit roughly 50 vendors and booths throughout the expo, which sported food, mementos and other memorabilia from the event.
75 years of USAF Heritage
The USAF’s air superiority began on Sept. 18, 1947. Over the decades, the Air Force has continuously showcased and carried out their core values of integrity first, service before self, and excellence in all we do.
This year’s Air & Space Expo allowed people from near and far, to come up-close and personal with the aircraft and Airmen of the U.S. Air Force. They had the opportunity to see how the Air Force has evolved and adapted over time.
“To be able to celebrate our Air Force’s 75th anniversary here at Joint Base Andrews is an honor,” said Col. Todd Randolph, 316th Wing and Joint Base Andrews installation commander. “The airshow demonstrates just how capable, ready and lethal we are as an Air Force.”
Since its inception, the Air Force has made strides in aircraft innovation with the guidance of senior Air Force leaders and by staying true to the core mission: to fly, fight and win… airpower anytime, anywhere. These innovations were visible both on the ground and in the air over the three-day expo, as displays ranged from World War II piston aircraft to modern day fifth generation fighters.
Not only did the 2022 Air & Space Expo allow the public to see static aircraft and flying performances, but it also provided the opportunity for more than 6,000 students from various states to see over 20 exhibits representing fields of science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics; or STEAM.
These demonstrations focused on highlighting Airmen who work in career fields associated with STEAM and how the Air Force has advanced throughout the years in these areas. Units such as the 316th Wing Explosive Ordnance Disposal, the 316th Wing Medical Group and many more were given an opportunity to demonstrate their contributions to the mission. There was also an opportunity for civilian groups, such as LEGO Education, Maryland STEM Festival and others a chance to showcase their advancements as well.
“We wanted to demonstrate the importance of all our Airmen, and the roles they fulfill, to the mission,” said Maj. Jason Vero, JBA 2022 Air & Space Expo director. “To educate the public on the mission as a whole allows us to build genuine interest for our future Airmen by engaging with them about all the things the Air Force can offer.”
The Air & Space Expo came to an end after years of preparation on Sunday, Sept. 18, with a final aerial performance from the Thunderbirds.
“I am very proud of the team and the job they have done,” said Vero. “Throughout the two years' worth of work that has gone into this expo, they have brought an inspiring attitude and work ethic to everything they accomplished.”
Throughout the weekend, the crowds cheered and celebrated what the Air Force is and what it has been capable of over the last 75 years.
“This was more than I ever thought it could be,” said Alexis Hruby, airshow attendee from Lincoln, Neb. “Being able to see all this and take it all-in, truly memorable.”