SAN DIEGO — Marine Corps Air Station Miramar welcomed the community of San Diego and surrounding regions to the installation's annual air show, Oct. 2-4.
Highlighting this year's theme "A Salute to Veterans and Their Families," the show offered attendees an assortment of flight demonstrations by Marine Corps and civilian aircraft, the Marine Air-Ground Task Force, the U.S. Army's Golden Knights parachute team, and performances by the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration team.
"Coming back to Miramar is always like coming home," said Marine Gunnery Sgt. Micah Bachtold, Blue Angels' flight engineer. "To see the smiles on kids' faces makes all the hard work that we do worth it."
The air show also gave the thousands in attendance a chance to see various types of weaponry and vehicles that were on display.
"We have lived here in Southern California for 20 years but we finally had a chance to come, plus it's my birthday." said John Chen, an avionics engineer who came to the show with his wife, Sue. "It's great to come here and see the planes you helped develop and analyzed being shown to the community."
In addition to the static displays, air show attendees had the opportunity to interact with a handful of specialized Navy commands.
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group One showed children how to maneuver remote controlled robots while Navy divers from Southwest Regional Maintenance Center (SWRMC) played tic-tac-toe through a plane of glass while submerged in water wearing a diving suit.
Service members who participated in the show said they hoped to inspire young minds and further the future of military programs.
"It lets people know that we are here (on the weekend) showing the community that we love what we do," said Navy Diver 1st Class Michael Tuft, who is attached to SWRMC. "We hope to show the kids this and give them memories that they can look back on so when they are finally at an age, out of high school, wondering what they can do with their life, they look back on today and are aware of our job, and can see it as an awesome opportunity."
Twelve-year-old Ethan Abbot attended that air show with his Boy Scout Troop from Irvine, California. The troop of 16 boys were there working on earning a merit badge in avionics.
"There were airplanes in the air that I've only seen in the movies before," said Abbot. "It was amazing."