Air Force unveils new airpower ad in theaters

  • Published
  • Air Force Recruiting Service Public Affairs

The U.S. Air Force plans to unveil its latest commercial titled “Own the Sky” in theaters during moviegoers’ long-awaited release of Top Gun: Maverick. The heart-pounding, adrenaline inducing ad gives the audience a sense of what it might feel like to be on the receiving end of the Air Force’s might and accentuates the importance of airpower in America’s security. 

In the new ad, some of the Air Force’s 5th Generation Fighters and their Air Force pilots are seen pulling Gs and doing maneuvers civilians might only see at an air show. “Own the Sky” can also be viewed on 

Air Force Recruiting Service and the Air Force’s advertising agency, GSD&M, filmed this commercial, among others, over several days at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Multiple Air Force demo teams came together and were filmed air-to-air by a Hollywood jet equipped with cutting-edge cameras to make this footage possible. 

“The intensity of this spot is stunning so hold on to your popcorn because we are bringing the Air Force to your seat,” said Maj. Gen. Ed Thomas, AFRS commander. “We want to get Americans excited about what it means to serve this great nation. There are more than 130 career options an Airman can take on their full or part-time journey to defend our skies. The air superiority in this video just gives you a glimpse of a small percentage of what is possible when you join us.” 

The release of Top Gun in 1986 generated excitement about careers in military aviation, something recruiters hope to see again with the release of the newest film that takes viewers into the “Danger Zone” and immerses them into the thrill of military flying. 

Asked if he thought the Navy-centric film would benefit the Air Force as well, the general said he expects Top Gun: Maverick will generate a buzz about military service in general. 

“The Navy, the Air Force and the other services benefit when America gets to see such positive and realistic depictions of what we do and what our lives are like serving the country,” said Thomas, whose uncle, Rear Adm. Bill Harris helped stand up the Navy’s “Top Gun” Fighter Weapons School in the 1950s. “Whether viewers want to ‘Fly Navy’ or ‘Aim High’ we just want them to think about serving and the exciting life and tremendous opportunities we can offer.” 

Thomas said this has been the toughest recruiting market in well more than two decades. 

“It’s a math problem,” he said. “The national labor shortage is driving millions of unfilled jobs. The nation is bigger. The military is smaller. Few people today know someone who has served. Eligibility to serve has dropped to just 23% due to obesity, medical or other issues, and less people are generally knowledgeable enough about the military to know what a great way off life serving in the military can be.” 

Later this month “Own the Sky” will be placed on AFRS’ YouTube channel, U.S. Air Force Recruiting. Viewers are encouraged to comment and tag someone they know who might be ready to suit up and fly, fight and win.

Visit at for more information about opportunities.