Naval Air Station Oceana will host the 2018 Air Show, scheduled to start at 8 a.m. Sept. 22 and 23. The event is free, open to the public and designed to showcase the skills of naval aviators and provide an opportunity to connect the military and local community.
The theme of this year’s air show is Naval Air Station Oceana 75th Anniversary. Originally opened in 1943 in the mudflats of Virginia Beach, Naval Air Station Oceana is now the Navy’s East Coast Master Jet Base and home to all of Naval Aviation’s F-18 Hornets and Super Hornets.
This year’s featured flight demonstrations will be held by the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, and the Canadian Forces 431 Air Demonstration Squadron, the Snowbirds.
The CF Snowbirds are Canada’s military aerobatics and flight demonstration team comprised of Canadian Armed Forces members and National Defense Public Service employees.
Naval Air Station Oceana has partnered with the Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) to hold its third “STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) laboratory” for local students during the Friday practice air show. This event is designed to teach students about modern technological advancements and their applications, especially within the military and NASA.
Capt. Chad P. Vincelette, commanding officer of Naval Air Station Oceana, said the STEM program during the air show has culminated a great relationship with VBCPS.
“This is the third year we’ve invited all the fifth grade students,” said Vincelette. “The logistics and the extensive planning fused our relationship with the school system.”
This year’s STEM laboratory is scheduled to be the biggest one yet, and perhaps the biggest field trip of all time, with attendance of approximately 5,500 school students. Guinness World Records will be attending the event to verify our attendance for the world’s largest educational field trip. That same day, Sept. 21, the show will also be open to all military and dependents.
The next two days, Saturday and Sunday, will be the public’s opportunity to see a variety of presentations from naval aviators and civilian performers. Saturday’s on-base event will be complemented with an evening performance and Beach Blast celebration Sept. 22 at 6 p.m. at Neptune Park, on 31st Street, on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk.
Additional air show performances will include Geico Skytypers, Mike Goulian (Extra 330sc), Kent Pietsch (Jelly Belly Interstate Cadet), Bob Carlton (Salto Jet Sailplane), Jim Tobul (Corsair), Greg Shelton (Wildcat), Warrior Flight Team, F/A-18F Super Hornet Demonstration, Air Power Demonstration, F-22 Raptor Demonstration, Bill Leff (USAF Heritage Flight), Black Daggers U.S. Army Parachute Team, Skydive Suffolk Jump Team, Flashfire Aftershock Jet Firetruck and Firewalkers Pyrotechnics.
The 2018 Naval Air Station Oceana Air Show is planned, set up and performed by Naval Air Station Oceana personnel and requires the skills and knowledge of all Sailors stationed there. Thousands of hours are spent in making this the Navy’s largest public outreach event.