San Diego, California. (September 29, 2023): In this photo by Corporal Daniel Childs, Marines with 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force exit an MV-22B Osprey with 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, during the Marine Air-Ground Task Force demonstration at Air Station Miramar Airshow. The show gave civilians the chance to witness the coordinated use of air support, armor, artillery, and infantry forces and to see first-hand the spirit of American Marines. Visitors learned how the Corps operates and got a chance to interact with individual Marines and other servicemembers. The highlight of the event was an air show by the famous Navy Blue Angels precision flight demonstration team. Formed in 1946, the Blue Angels perform at over seventy shows a year throughout the country, thrilling audiences with their twisting, falling, turning, and staying in formation maneuvers that push flying to the limit.
The Marines are not alone in staging these important community relations events.
The Army deploys its Golden Knights dare devil parachute team across the nation to perform for large audiences demonstrating the skill and professionalism of today’s soldier. The team is composed of ninety-five soldiers broken into four parachute units, an aviation unit, and a headquarters. The demonstration teams, which use five dedicated aircraft to perform at more than one hundred events per year, even take celebrities and heads of state on jumps.
The Navy also fields an expert parachute team, “The Leap Frogs” , staffed by elite active-duty Navy SEALs and Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen. The Leap Frogs were formed in 1969 when Navy SEALs and Underwater Demolition Team members volunteered to perform at weekend air shows.
Of course, the Air Force has the celebrated Thunderbirds fighter jet squadron to function as ambassadors of goodwill bringing a close-up view of modern military aviation to Americans. Established in 1953, the Thunderbirds fly the mighty F-16 Fighting Falcon in formation fly overs including the legendary Diamond formation which showcases the precision and training of Air Force Pilots.
These community relations demonstrations showcase the professionalism, excellence, and teamwork of today’s military.