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The Blue Angels take flight in Imperial Valley

EL CENTRO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Saturday afternoon, the Naval Air Facility El Centro put on its annual air show incorporating different demonstrations and a finale performance with the famous U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

Taylor Smith brought his sons to the weekend event.

“The boys have never seen it this close and I know they're really excited to see it today,” the Brawley father said.

This is the first year that the blue angels are using the new F-18 Super Hornet jet as part of the Navy flight demonstration squadron.

“We heard that new planes were coming over and we usually come like every year,” Christian Aguilera said.

“Just seeing, you know, the ingenuity that in all the mathematics really that go into these precision flight patterns I mean it's incredible,” Smith added.

This year things are a bit different due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The base is shut down to the general public leaving spectators to find other places to watch the aircraft.

Siblings Christian and Yareni Aguilera came prepared.

“We brought the camper to make it a better experience since we can’t be inside [the base],” Christian Aguilera explained.

“We come to just spend time with the family, we come more prepared to eat if anything because we know it's gonna be a long time,” Yareni Aguilera added.

There were also performances by the United States Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt and the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 3.

As the adrenaline races through the pilots, some are looking up wanting to do the same thing someday.

“Nolan, when we were coming out here, was saying - dad, I want to fly a Blue Angel jet when I grow up,” Smith said.

The Imperial Valley has been experiencing heavy winds Saturday and it's unclear if weather played a role in the cancellation of the Navy Parachute Team.

This year’s festival of flight is a special one, coming up on May 1st, the Naval Air Facility will mark its 75th anniversary of training and flights.

Imperial County / Military
Author Profile Photo

Cody Lee

Cody Lee joined 13 On Your Side and KYMA News 11 in March 2020, but he’s no stranger to Arizona. He grew up in the Phoenix area and enjoys everything Arizona has to offer.

Prior to moving to Yuma, he served as a News Video Editor at Arizona’s Family 3TV / CBS 5 in Phoenix.

Lee spent most of his life watching the news and discovering a passion for tv news journalism. After college, Lee received an opportunity in Las Vegas, Nevada at KSNV News 3 and worked on longtime local morning news program “Wake Up with the Wagners” and the #1 rated weekend evening newscasts. He spent 3 years at KSNV, before moving on to a new experience in Sin City at KLAS 8 News Now.

Cody later moved to real estate marketing, until he returned back to his hometown of Phoenix.

Lee is excited to start this new journey, as a journalist, right here in Yuma and Imperial Valley. He starts his on-air duties in the midst of the devastating Coronavirus Pandemic.

When he is not reporting on the amazing people in his communities, you can catch him enjoying a hike or spending time exploring all the great things Yuma and the Valley are known for. He also enjoys relaxing at home, reading all the latest headlines – with his tabby cat, Oliver.

You can catch him on the air Wednesday thru Friday at 6pm and 10pm on CBS 13. On the weekends, at 5pm & 10pm on KYMA News 11 and 10pm on CBS 13.

Lee hopes to bring you factual and accurate reporting on stories that are impacting the people of our beautiful communities.

You can contact Cody at cody.lee@kecytv.com.

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