2018’s MCAS Miramar Airshow Reviewed, Less Than Six Months Until the 2019 Show

Sunday (821)

Less than six months remain until the U.S. Marine Corps present a seldom-seen exercise that tells the story of high-tech teamwork in action. The Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) presentation combines aviation and ground forces together on the giant stage of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar’s air show. 2019’s event will occur on September 28th and 29th at the southern California air base. Here’s a review of last year’s event (the MAGTF is just one part of the larger air show) with plenty of photos of the 2018 MAGTF demonstration to preview this year’s expected presentation.

The 2018 MCAS Airshow honored 100 Years of Women in the United States Marine Corps. Even though women had not been allowed in a ground combat Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) until 2016, they have played an integral role in contributing to every U.S. victory since World War I. Women Marines have been breaking barriers and completing major milestones ever since then. All over the show grounds were posters and banners commemorating all the accomplishments that women have made in the US Marine Corps over the last 100 years.

On top of honoring Women Marines, the Marines showcased their lethal arsenal of both air and ground assets. On the ground several combat vehicles and weapons were on display that you could get a close up look at, and in some cases, get some hands-on time with.

During the flying portion of the show, the Marines were able to highlight their coordinated use of armor, artillery, infantry, and close air support forces in the Marine Air Ground Task Force (MAGTF) demo. The MAGTF demo is a highlight of the show and the best MAGTF demo I’ve ever seen. While AV-8B Harriers and F/A-18 Hornets ripped through the skies providing close air support, UH-1 Venoms, with AH-1 Vipers as escorts, moved through the battlefield dropping off and picking up Recon Marines. MV-22 Ospreys brought in the main forces and a CH-53 showed off its heavy lift capability by sling loading a HMMV below it. A KC-130 provided aerial refueling while the main forces in LAVs, HMMVs, 7-ton transports hauling 155mm Howitzers, and M1A1 Abrams rolled through the battlespace. When the demo was complete, the MAGTF performed a pass in review.

Also entertaining the show goers throughout the day were several warbirds and civilian acts that performed passes down the runway and aerobatic routines. One of the highlights of the aerial portion of the event was the demonstration of the U.S. Air Force U-2 Dragon Lady. Other modern-day aircraft that did individual demonstrations were the Marine’s very own MV-22 Osprey and the F-35B Lightning II. Closing out each day was an always impressive performance by the United States Navy Blue Angels in their six blue and gold F/A-18 Hornets.

The MCAS Miramar Air Show was once again an amazing show and highlighted the ferocity and lethality of the United States Marine Corps capabilities. I look forward to what’s in store next year.

We would like to thank the MCAS Miramar Public Affairs Office once again for their outstanding hospitality. We’d also like to extend a very special thank you from all of us at Photorecon, to all women Marines, both past and present.


Steve Lewis

Steve is a Southern California based photographer living in the Los Angeles area.

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