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MCAS Miramar Air Show will go on

Col. John Farnam, MCAS Miramar commanding officer, refuses to let sequestration ground the annual Marine Corps Air Station Air Show in San Diego this year.

Farnam posted a YouTube video on the air show’s website, saying the show is a go.

The show will be one day shorter than planned, from Oct. 4 to 5 instead of through Oct. 6.

“While the show will be a little bit different this year, it’s going to be a time to remember for you and for your family. Please do me the honor of your presence in October," he stated in the video.

On July 12 the Department of Defense rejected MCAS Miramar's request to retain military acts in the 2013 show, due to department-wide budget cuts from sequestration. In April, the U.S. Navy axed the remaining 2013 performances of its premiere Blue Angels flight demonstration squad.

Despite the missing military components, MCAS Miramar said it was exploring ideas to host the community on the installation this year and keep the show afloat.

“San Diego is a unique community and its relationship with Miramar is unmatched anywhere in the United States,” he said, on the video. “The air show is my opportunity to open the gates to Miramar to allow you onto the base to bring you to a place where most people don’t get to go, onto our flight line.”

While the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) won't be on display, a unique addition this year is letting the public access the runways.

"[We] are working out the schedule of events and aerial performers. Hopefully we will have a confirmed schedule for Oct. 4 [and] 5 later this week,” said Lt. Chad Hill, MCAS Miramar media officer, in an email on Tuesday.

Despite the missing military flight demonstrations, Farnam promoted what he calls the air station's most important assets: its manpower.

He promises attendees “won’t be disappointed” when they talk to the Marines and sailors on site.

“They are our most valuable resource. They are who I need you to see and understand,” he said.

In addition, static displays of aircraft squadrons -- such as F-18s, Ospreys and helicopters -- based at Miramar will be on hand to help visitors better understand the Marine Corps and its mission.

"Static displays are common at the Miramar Air Show, as they allow the local community to interact with the pilots and aircrew one-on-one in order to gain a better understanding of the capabilities of the aircraft, pilots and support personnel," Hill said last week.

More than 500,000 spectators flock to the San Diego show each year, making it San Diego's largest annual event.

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