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Ready to roar: Arctic Thunder is back with open house, air shows on July 30-31

Arctic Thunder at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson returns July 30 and 31, with air shows, static displays, and more opportunity for the public to see our nation’s military capabilities.

The shows will include the formation-flying Thunderbirds, F-22, F-16, and C-17 demonstrations and more, including private aerobatic and stunt pilots and planes coming in from the Lower 48.

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The base opens its doors every other year to share the unique life and culture of the military with Anchorage. In years previous, this event has seen attendance in upwards of 300,000 people.  The show was canceled in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic.

This year will feature over 40 static displays spanning 30 acres. Over the two days, there will be seven hours of flying activities, and Anchorage residents can expect to see warbirds in the sky as they move into formation.

Arctic Thunder general public entry Gates open at 9 am

  • Gate # 1 – Boniface Parkway
  • Gate # 2 – Fort Richardson via D Street Exit

For those arriving from North of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (Eagle River or the Valley), please enter through the Fort Richardson Gate via D Street Exit.  For those arriving from Anchorage or South of Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, please enter through the Boniface Gate via Boniface Parkway.

You will be directed to free general parking after entry.

From 9 am to noon, the Boniface Gate will have three lanes inbound and one lane outbound.

After 2 pm, no open house traffic will be allowed through Boniface Gate or Richardson Gate.

Individuals with children are requested to pick up arm bands at Entry Control Points or in Hangar 2.

Handicap parking is available for vehicles with the proper identification and markings.

For additional information, including the full schedule, click the event link here.

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Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.


  1. Let’s all hope for the return of great Alaskan Summer days for this event and everyone is afforded a great time….Last time I went I did not pay enough attention to where I parked the car and it took me some time finding it when we got ready to leave…

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