Red Arrows

Red Arrows Visit Iconic 'Top Gun' Miramar Air Base

The Red Arrows have attended the Miramar Airshow in San Diego, California.

The team performed displays at the strike-fighter training base made famous in the film 'Top Gun' as part of their North American tour, which will end in Rapid City on 8 October.

For many of the team members, the stop at the Miramar base was one of the stops of the tour that they were most looking forward to.

"It is Miramar! I grew up looking at this place," said Squadron Leader Mike Bowden.

Growing up, he said he was fascinated and inspired by two things: "One is watching the film and this place, and the other is the Red Arrows".

"To see the two together and be here... I have to pinch myself a little bit!"

"To come here, to Miramar, the home of such an iconic film, that probably got most of the guys and girls interested in the military," added Squadron Leader Martin Pert.

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For some of the Reds, visiting Miramar was a childhood dream come true.

The Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Airshow attracts around 300,000 people every year.

The base is home to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and has displays from its F35 Lightning II Squadrons, as well as Osprey, Viper and Cobra helicopters.

However, many of the visitors were excited to see the Red Arrows attending the event.

Several of them had only seen the Reds perform in clips on the internet.

"I have been watching them on YouTube, [my son] has been excited to see them," said one visitor.

Others said it was exciting and interesting to see the Red Arrows perform in their state.

Watch: Red 10 gives us a tour around a Hawk T1.

The reception of the aerobatics team in North America has been "exceptional", said the Red Arrows PR Manager Andrew Morton.

"Everywhere we have been, we have been met with such positive, warm reactions."

The team flew into San Diego from Vancouver, but one of the members, Flight Lieutenant Damon Greens, returned to the UK earlier than expected for the birth of his baby daughter.

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The Red Arrows performed various aerobatics displays at the Miramar Airshow.

Despite having to say goodbye to Red 2, the rest of the Red Arrows will continue the tour, flying in eight-ship formation instead.

"We train as an eight-ship, we train for one jet being missing due to in-service stability and illness," said Squadron Leader Adam Collins.

"With Number 2 not being here, most of the time we will just have a 'missing man', so we will have a gap in the formation, but what we will do is reposition some of the other jets to move that gap around," he explained.

The rest of the tour schedule is still busy and the Red Arrows will soon head up to the West Coast, gearing up for their final air show of the North American tour.

Red Arrows in San Diego 300919 CREDIT BFBS.jpg
Some people attending the Miramar Airshow had only ever seen Red Arrows' displays on the internet.