EL CENTRO — The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, and the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, conducted a joint training exchange here from Feb. 23 to March 3, to trade best practices and develop team interoperability in preparation for the 2023 show season, according to military officials.
The Blue Angels and Thunderbirds will co-headline the 2023 Naval Base Ventura County Air Show March 18-19, in Point Mugu in Ventura County.
“We have been looking forward to our joint training with the Thunderbirds all year,” said Cmdr. Alex Armatas, Blue Angels commanding officer and flight leader.
“For the fourth year in a row, we have the unique opportunity to train together in El Centro, California, and share our expertise with one another. No one better understands the hard work and dedication it takes to execute flight demonstrations across the country like our Air Force counterparts.”
The last time the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds performed together at an air show was at the Thunder over Dover Air Show in Dover, Del. on May 22, 2022.
Showcase teamwork, professionalism
The mission of the Blue Angels is to showcase the teamwork and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps through flight demonstrations and community outreach while inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country.
This year marks the Blue Angels’ 77th show season representing the United States Navy and Marine Corps.
The Blue Angels are scheduled to perform 64 flight demonstrations at 32 locations across the United States and Canada this year.
Recruit, retain and inspire
The Thunderbirds mission is to recruit, retain and inspire past, present and future Airmen while showcasing the pride, precision and professionalism of America’s Airmen.
This year marks the Thunderbirds’ 70th year representing the United States Air Force.
The Thunderbirds are scheduled to perform 62 flight demonstrations at 32 locations across the United States and Canada this year.
Story by Chief Petty Officer Michael Russell, Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron