The Naval Air Facility (NAF) in El Centro California is the winter home of the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron otherwise known as the Blue Angels. Each March NAF kicks off the Blue Angels’ season with their spectacular air show. Other feats of skill and heroism are also displayed as shown below by an aerial helicopter rescue.

Commissioned in 1946 as a Naval Air Station, the base was previously viewed as a Marine Corps Air Station. Through the years it served as a Naval Air Facility, a Naval Auxiliary Landing Field, a Naval Air Station, and the National Parachute Test Range. The main attraction for air show enthusiasts however, are the Blue Angels. The image below captures four Blue Angel jets as they fly in formation at the annual Air Show at El Centro California

The F/A-18 Hornets (Blue Angels) perform at air shows and special events to boost recruiting for both the United States Navy and the Marine Corps. They first performed in 1946 and is currently the oldest formal flying aerobatic team.

Spectators walk beneath the C-17 Globemaster III carrier. Capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops as well as all types of cargo, the C-17 is the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft in the airlift force.
These demonstrations of might and skill attest to the miltary power of the United States armed forces.

(Next blog: April 1, 2012)

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Don’t know about you but I’ve been a hobbyist and, more specifically, a photo philiac (if that’s a real word) since childhood. As time went by, my passion for photography increased. I became an aficionado, then a hobbyist and finally a professional. Prior to that final step however, I spent several boring years employed in the financial industry. While the pay was sufficient, the passion just wasn’t there. The passion for photography however, was. Now, at this ripe old age, I’m still going strong, loving what I do. Many others have followed similar paths to their own destinys. Some are content to remain hobbyists, while still enjoying the fruits of gainful employment. Others, however, have abandoned their yokes to follow their passions. Take offroad racing for example.
When most people think about hobbying the words “danger” or “mishap” is not the first image that comes to mind yet certain hobbies expose these enthusiasts to danger. Take, for example, rock climbing. Think there might be some chance of mishap there?

Every year the city of Ouray in Colorado holds an Ice Festival where daredevils climb up and down an immense ice canyon. Do you think there might be some chance of mishap there?

Then there’s the young man who makes an upside down flip on his BMX bike at the annual Indianapolis, Air Show.

Aficionados of hot air balloons float high above enjoying an exhilarating experierce, notwithstanding many past catastrophies.

Even photographers have lost their lives while straining along narrow precipices in hopes of capturing that one great shot. For me, I have great respect for those hobbyists and professionals who pushed the ultimate envelope, but in the end my Canon camera and I are content to trudge along doing the best we can, hoping to catch tomorrow’s great shot. Thank you very much!

(Next blog: March 15, 2012)

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