Naval Air Facility El Centro 2019 Air Show


One of the first air shows of the year is held at Naval Air Facility El Centro in the Imperial Valley. In addition, NAF El Centro has long been the winter training home of the United States Navy Demonstration Team, the Blue Angels, who open their show schedule each year here. The base has a celebration the night prior to the show that is open to the public which includes food, drinks, and live music. As darkness fell, Captain Brent Alfonso, Commanding Officer for NAF El Centro, formally introduced the 2019 Blue Angels Team to all in attendance. The night concluded with a stunning fireworks display.

The 49th annual airshow itself was held March 19, 2019. There were several static displays that you could walk through as well as plenty of booths selling air show memorabilia. The highlight on display was the U.S. Navy’s new F-35C Lightning II.

In the air, show goers were treated to several civilian displays by both aerobatic aircraft as well as vintage warbirds.

A U.S. Navy F/A-18C Hornet, from VFA-106 Gladiators, also made a few passes, the final of which was coordinated with the detonation of a wall of fire.

The show concluded with the first demonstration of 2019 by the United States Navy Blue Angels.

With next year being the 50th anniversary of the show, I’m hoping the Navy pulls out all the stops for this important annual event.

I’d like to extend a special thank you to Kristopher Haugh and his Public Affairs team for their incredible hospitality once again this year. I look forward to seeing what’s in store for 2020.

Steve Lewis

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

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