Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Miramar Air Show Features Blue Angels, Salutes Marine Corps Aviation

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Marie Montez and Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (AW) Mark McLaughlin, Naval Reserve Fleet Public Affairs Center San Diego

An F/A-18 Super Hornet flies alongside a World War II-era F-4U Corsair Bearcat during the Legacy Flight at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Air Show. The annual show is the final event of Fleet Week San Diego. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jose Lopez, Jr./Released)

MIRAMAR, Calif. (NNS) -- Military members, their families, local residents, and aviation enthusiasts packed the grandstands Oct. 4 at the annual Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar Air Show in "A Salute to Marine Corps Aviation."

This year's spectacle showcased the latest in U.S. military avionics and focused on the men and women who make Marine aviation what it is today. Aircraft from past U.S. conflicts also took to the skies, including a P-51 Mustang and an AT-6 Texan. The show included a performance by the Blue Angels.

"The Blues are a big favorite with San Diego," said Col. Christopher O'Connor, commanding officer of MCAS Miramar. "They're the highlight of this year's show, and we're certainly glad to have them be a part of it."

The air show offered events that catered to all ages, including a flag drop by parachuting Soldiers from the U.S. Army's Golden Knights, in-flight gymnastics by Oracle Challenger stuntman Sean Tucker, explosive demonstrations by the Marine Air-Ground Task Force. With tents, booths and hundreds of aircraft from the past and present lining the assembly area, there was something for everyone to enjoy.

"It's great to be a part of something so special," said Machinist's Mate 1st Class (SW/AW) Chad Bear of Naval Recruiting Depot San Diego. "These types of events really help to promote military awareness."

Spectators were captivated by an historic flight that combined nostalgic patriotism with modern day technology when an F/A-18 Super Hornet flew alongside a WWII-era F4U Corsair Bearcat in the Legacy Flight.

"It's great for civilians to get the chance to interact with the military," said Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Kevin Music, in town from Camp Pendleton while taking part in San Diego Fleet Week. "Some of these kids will be the future of the military, so it's a very positive experience for them."