MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. -- Marine Corps Air Station Miramar hosted the 56th annual air show, themed “A Salute to San Diego: Birthplace of Naval Aviation 1911-2011,” to honor 100 years of naval aviation, Sept. 30-Oct. 2.
The three-day show featured performances by the Navy’s Blue Angels, a mock World War II aerial combat demonstration and more. This gave spectators the chance to experience naval aviation history in action.
“I wanted to experience the Miramar Air Show before I (make a permanent change of station),” said Capt. Matthew Lamb, adjutant, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion. “My wife and I are newly married, so this is her first experience with military machinery.”
The air show attracted approximately 750,000 spectators, giving civilians the opportunity to connect with service members aboard MCAS Miramar and witness the capabilities of today’s military.
“(My wife’s) making those connections that will help bring her closer to the Marine Corps family,” explained Lamb.
One highlight included a Marine Air-Ground Task Force demonstration, which simulated a combat assault showcasing different aircraft and vehicles. The demonstration included Marines rappelling from helicopters and showing off capabilities of a MAGTF.
“I wanted to see planes fighting planes, that’s stuff you only see in movies,” said Gus Chavez, a student at the Southeast Academy, Military and Law Enforcement High School, Norwalk, Calif. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and it looks awesome.”
There were more than 100 military and civilian static aircraft and vehicle displays, including many historic aircraft that have been restored. Many displays were open for tours so attendees could see what it’s like to sit in the driver’s seat of military vehicles.
“This is an awesome atmosphere. I wanted to show my kids the planes, helicopters and firepower of the military,” said David Boykin, air show spectator.
The Navy Blue Angels amazed the crowd with a display of aerial acrobatics.
“It’s amazing how they’re able to pull off so many stunts so close to each other,” said Boykin, a San Diego native.
The Miramar Air Show offered something for everyone in the family including a “fun zone” for children, which contained carnival rides and games with prizes. Vendor and sponsor booths were also set up to purchase memorabilia and refreshments throughout the day.
Guests attending the air show Saturday had the opportunity to witness the twilight show. The nighttime twilight show featured additional performances and a firework display concluding with an inferno referred to as the “Great Wall of Fire.”
“It’s incredible to see (the planes) in flight,” said Norma Noland, air show spectator. “The simplicity of it, was just beautiful.”