Air Force Thunderbirds Drop In On Blue Angels For Rare Joint Training

USAF Thunderbirds and US Navy Blue Angels - AirshowStuff
U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael B. Keller

The US Air Force Thunderbirds are making a surprise visit to their US Navy Blue Angel counterparts this week. The Thunderbirds are temporarily relocating from their home base at Nellis AFB to NAF El Centro, where the Blue Angels are currently stationed. Both teams are nearing the end of their winter training periods prior to their first public demonstrations of the 2020 airshow season, scheduled for March 14th.

The meetup is a surprise to fans, but the teams do like to visit each other from time to time to swap best practices. The Thunderbirds visited the Blues at their normal home base at NAS Pensacola in 2017. Both teams performed at the Andrews AFB airshow in 2019, and later that summer they joined the Canadian Snowbirds for an unprecedented photo flight.

Whatever the reason, the many spotters in Southern California now have a rare chance to see both US jet teams in one spot! According to one source, the training is only expected to last until this weekend. We expect some great photos to result and hope you’ll share any of your own on our forums! We’ll also post the practice flight times there if we can get our hands on them.

Check out our airshow calendar to see a full list of US and Canadian airshows, including where the Thunderbirds, Blue Angels, and Snowbirds will be performing!

30 Responses

      • David F

        Elizabeth all 3 squadrons of Thunderbirds, Blue Angels, and even the Snowbirds will be performing extensive training flights all day Feb 30. There will also be a meet and great open to the public on the 30th.

  1. Susan Colyar

    Are you flying today the 26th? I want to come watch before I leave for Utah on Sat. It takes me about 45 min. to get to El Central.

  2. Art Parker

    NAF El Centro, Calif is where I was stationed while serving in the Navy 1965-1969. I got to watch them practice every day.

  3. Lupe Hernandez

    I was born in El Centro, Ca
    Maybe someday will get to see these beautiful Angels really close.

  4. Jack

    It SAD, That I’m STUCK in Jacksonville Florida!! But, I’ll C U the Angles,at NAS JAX this Fall

  5. Julie Löwen

    Love those birds!! Both USAF & USN!! Curious tho… what year did they start showing??

  6. Jean

    Love it and enjoy your local shows in Tidewater. Virginia. Thank you for sharing your skill

  7. matt z

    I’ll be seeing blue Angels fly at la county air show here in Lancaster CA. In March.

  8. Debbie Miller

    Dad was 20 yr. Air Force…was in Goodfellow AFB in San Angelo, Texas 68-72…then Pensacola 72 and 73…loved watching them practice…never got to see them together…they are awesome to see…

  9. Bob Best

    We were at JAX the day the BA’s were closed down a few years ago. It was all most could do to keep from sobbing! These folks are so very professional and fantastic. So thrilled that they are back in business and showing America’s might and skill!

  10. Al Pagliaro

    Are there any plans slated for Mt Comfort Indiana or Wright Patterson air shows soon?

  11. Brian

    I hope the Angels don’t follow the T’birds into the desert floor like the T’birds have done in training…

  12. David F

    Elizabeth all 3 squadrons of Thunderbirds, Blue Angels, and even the Snowbirds will be performing extensive training flights all day Feb 30. There will also be a meet and great open to the public on the 30th.

  13. Shirley Watson

    Please let me know when the BLUE ANGELS will be in Pensacola, Fla in 2020
    I live in De Funiak Springs on the Panhandle of Florida. Would love to see them.TU.

  14. Sandra G

    I am really confused about a comment from Elizabeth Moody and David F. There is NO February 30th!! Are you talking about March?

  15. Robert Cole

    Blues and Tbirds flew together at Tyndall AFB, Panama City Florida, 30 some years ago.
    The Thunderbirds were doing a air show and the Blue Angels were returning from Tampa on there way to Pensacola and they came by and did a little show.

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