The roar of a jet squadron was heard in the skies of Imperial County on Jan. 4 as the Blue Angels returned to their winter home base and prepare themselves for their first air show in two years.
The Blue Angels have called El Centro their winter training home since 1967 after then-Mayor Dubois McGee lobbied the Navy and the team to shift operations here during the Imperial Valley’s cooler months.
McGee was the first African-American Mayor of El Centro and served during the 1960s.
On March 12, NAF El Centro is scheduled to hold its Second Annual Festival of Flight, a retooling of the traditional airshow here to more prominently celebrate the relationship of the base with the Imperial Valley. The Blue Angels will continue to support this event as they have for the past 52 years.
“The installation is working hard to create an event that is accessible to the public while managing the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our installation and to our fleet squadrons who train and operate from here. Our Second Annual Festival of Flight is currently scheduled to be an in-person event with many live military flight demonstration team performances, car shows, live bands, and fireworks,” said Capt. William Perkins, NAF El Centro’s commanding officer.
“However, we are closely monitoring the impact the latest COVID surge is having and will make any necessary adjustments to our planned Festival to protect and safeguard our workforce, families, and community as the situation further develops“ Perkins added.
The mission of the Blue Angels is to showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to the country through flight demonstrations and community outreach.