SAN DIEGO — After nearly three years of hiatus, the MCAS Miramar Air Show is back.

The sky above Miramar is roaring.

For the first time since the pandemic shut down the air show in 2019, some of the best pilots in the world are now back in the sky.

“We’re here because we are Top Gun fanatics. We love Top Gun. My son is a huge Maverick fan, so we figured why not come here and watch the show,” fan Jennifer De La Rosa said.

Big draws like the Army Golden Knights, Navy Leap Frogs and the Blue Angels are expected to attract more than half-a-million people over the weekend. 

The theme this year is: Fight, Evolve, Win.

“We’re focusing on the evolve part. The Marine Corps is modernizing and thinking about how we maintain a competitive advantage,” U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Thomas M. Bedell said. 

Flying here is meaningful for F35 pilot Captain Patrick Kaufer, who grew up watching the Miramar Air Show.

“I used to come to this show as a child and went to USD in San Diego for college and took my now wife on our second date here at the air show in 2014, so it’s pretty special for us to come back,” Kaufer said.

The Marines say with the Air Show they’re excited to inspire the next generation.

“As Americans we need to support our military and our Air Force in particular. Another reason is to influence our young children to get into the military, particularly my son into the Air Force or the Naval Aviation,” fan Oscar De La Rosa said.

The Marines also urge attendees to wear sunscreen and drink lots of water.