EL CENTRO  The US Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, and the US Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, will conduct an information exchange on board Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro, February 25-29, to share squadron best practices and lessons learned before both teams begin their respective 2020 show season.

There are no scheduled performances during this exchange, however, training flights with similar profiles to the air show routine may be conducted in accordance with annual training objectives. Each team is currently in the middle of their winter training cycles.

“I am incredibly excited to share the world class training facilities here in El Centro with the US Air Force Thunderbirds,” said Commander Brian Kesselring, the Blue Angels commanding officer and flight leader. “Our time in El Centro is crucial for transitioning in new pilots, training support and maintenance personnel, and preparing the aircraft for the high operating tempo of the air show season. This is a phenomenal opportunity to meet and integrate with our US Air Force counterparts and share best practices. Undoubtedly, the interaction between our teams this week will lead to safer and more effective flight demonstrations.”

The last time the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds performed together was at the Joint Base Andrews Air and Space Expo. May 11-12, 2019. The two teams are not scheduled to perform together during the 2020 show season.

Blue Angels, Thunderbirds Conduct Joint Training

“Training with the Blue Angels, on the ground and in the air, is a very unique and valuable experience,” said Lieutenant Colonel John Caldwell, US Air Force Thunderbirds commander and leader. Our squadrons have a similar mission set and share the same goal of providing an impeccable demonstration for our upcoming shows during the 2020 season. We deeply appreciate the expertise and operational knowledge the Blue Angels bring to our shared mission and look forward to enhancing our operations from this joint exchange.

The Blue Angels are scheduled to perform 55 flight demonstrations at 29 locations across the United States and Canada. The mission of the Blue Angels is to showcase the teamwork and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach. Since 1946, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 496 million fans.

2020 marks the Thunderbirds 67th year representing the United States Air Force. This year, the Thunderbirds are scheduled to perform 67 demonstrations at 35 locations across the United States and Canada. 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.

For more information about the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, including the 2020 air show schedule, visit www.blueangels.navy.mil and www.afthunderbirds.com.

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