When we weren’t looking, we were invaded. In its 101st year, the Royal Air Force has blitzed America, and it is quite wonderful.

Huh, you may ask, but its a tale easily told. The Red Arrows, the demonstration team of the British Royal Air Force are touring the US and Canada.

It’s one of those quirks of these things that we don’t often get to see the Reds, nor do the Brits see the Birds and the Blues that much. These teams are as their names indicate, an exemplary showcase of British and American airpower. Sadly there is little reason to demonstrate it to each other, we’ve watched each other in admiration since at least 1942, we Americans know how great the RAF is, and they kind of like us too,

It’s more important to remind the rest of the world what happens when you poke too much at the Eagle, or twist the Lions tale. The fact that one tends to get both is a fact of history that is remarkable, and probably could only happen amongst the Anglo-Saxons, but the fact it is. Doesn’t matter if Mercia or East  Anglia rules, all join in. It also matters to our countries to sell their military our products, of course. The fact that that lowers the cost for us all is a benefit.


Sir Humphrey over at Thin Pinstriped Line spoke some about this:

The value of the Red Arrows is that they provide a globally recognisable and iconic brand that is associated with the UK. Much like most other nations maintain some form of air display team, they provide a visible sign of UK influence and interest globally that can facilitate many open doors.

The fact that the aircraft used is the much loved and hugely successful BAE Systems Hawk helps the Team support the wider export opportunities for this superb jet. Seeing one of the older variants put through its paces highlights the potential of the airframe in a memorable manner, which will hopefully help when interested parties then get to see what the newer generation of T2 is capable of for training aircrew.

From an influence perspective, the breathtaking nature of the Teams display and iconic paint scheme helps create the conditions whereby people want to see the display in person. Their reputation and ability to draw crowds is a vital tool in the battle for winning influence on the global diplomatic stage.

The impact the Reds have in doing this is powerful – for instance, a good publicity shot can land on the front page of most papers in a country – Humphrey has been in the Middle East when the Reds were present, and practically every paper carried the visit on their front page.

In simple terms, the Reds open the door to enable the rest of UK Government and industry partners to pile in and deliver key diplomatic objectives. For example, the presence of the Reds at an airshow may lead senior military and government figures, often elusive and hard to reach, and who the UK would like to have a bilateral with to attend, enabling the setting up of key contacts and conversations that would otherwise not happen.

He’s correct, and it’s just as true for our teams as well. It’s also a hell of a recruiting tool. The first time I saw the Blues was their practice day at Purdue back when they were flying F-4J’s. You don’t get a better example of America’s power than seeing, hearing, and feeling as a Phantom overflies you at perhaps 500 feet.

And that is part of why the Reds are here, they are promoting STEM education. And that’s as should be, a joint mission. Here are some details:

Date Event name Website
07/08/2019 Halifax
08/08/2019 Halifax
09/08/2019 Halifax
10/08/2019 Halifax
11/08/2019 Halifax (flypast)
12/08/2019 Halifax
13/08/2019 Halifax
13/08/2019 Ottawa (flypast)
13/08/2019 Gatineau-Ottawa Airshow
14/08/2019 Chicago
15/08/2019 Chicago
16/08/2019 Chicago
17/08/2019 Chicago – Air and Water Show
18/08/2019 Chicago – Air and Water Show
19/08/2019 Boston
21/08/2019 Atlantic City – display at Thunder Over The Boardwalk
22/08/2019 New York
23/08/2019 New York
24/08/2019 New York Airshow, Stewart International
24/08/2019 The Hamptons
25/08/2019 New York Airshow, Stewart International
25/08/2019 Washington DC
26/08/2019 Washington DC
27/08/2019 Washington DC
28/08/2019 Washington DC
28/08/2019 Niagara Falls
28/08/2019 Toronto
29/08/2019 Toronto
30/08/2019 Toronto
31/08/2019 Toronto – Canadian International Airshow
01/09/2019 Toronto – Canadian International Airshow
02/09/2019 Toronto – Canadian International Airshow
03/09/2019 Toronto
04/09/2019 Toronto
05/09/2019 Toronto
05/09/2019 Dayton, Ohio
06/09/2019 St. Louis
07/09/2019 Spirit of St. Louis Airshow & STEM Expo
08/09/2019 Spirit of St. Louis Airshow & STEM Expo
09/09/2019 St. Louis
09/09/2019 Fort Worth/Dallas
10/09/2019 Fort Worth/Dallas
11/09/2019 Fort Worth/Dallas
11/09/2019 Houston
12/09/2019 Fort Worth/Dallas
13/09/2019 Fort Worth/Dallas
14/09/2019 Fort Worth/Dallas
15/09/2019 Fort Worth/Dallas
16/09/2019 Fort Worth/Dallas
17/09/2019 Denver
18/09/2019 Denver
18/09/2019 Portland
19/09/2019 Portland
20/09/2019 Portland – The Oregon International Airshow
21/09/2019 Portland – The Oregon International Airshow
22/09/2019 Portland – The Oregon International Airshow
23/09/2019 Portland
23/09/2019 Seattle
24/09/2019 Seattle
24/09/2019 Vancouver
25/09/2019 Vancouver
26/09/2019 Victoria (flypast)
26/09/2019 Vancouver (flypast)
27/09/2019 Vancouver
27/09/2019 San Diego – Miramar Airshow
28/09/2019 San Diego – Miramar Airshow
29/09/2019 San Diego – Miramar Airshow
01/10/2019 San Francisco
02/10/2019 San Francisco
02/10/2019 Long Beach
04/10/2019 Los Angeles – The Great Pacific Airshow
05/10/2019 Los Angeles – The Great Pacific Airshow
06/10/2019 Los Angeles – The Great Pacific Airshow
08/10/2019 Rapid City

Dates are British fashion DD/MM/YYYY. If you’re anywhere near one of these, you really should see them. I have once, and they are quite awesome.

The RAF page for the Tour is here, and should not be missed.

About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

7 Responses to Invasion!

  1. the unit says:

    Great to hear and learn about Red Arrows. I’d never heard about them before.
    Hope they carry nuclear bombs. Many need them to drop one in the hurricane eye if Dorian get off shore about 20 miles off shore from my abode. 🙂 Got to add an extra ole lol here.
    You know what’s on my mind for the coming week, and maybe for a couple of months.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. the unit says:

    On a more serious note though, these do show our/theirs exceptional prowess in the important ways. Smarts and molon labe! Glad to see them promoting STEM. After all “poor kids are as smart as white kids.” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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