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Cpl. Brandon T. McDonald, a crash crewman with Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting for Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, assists Evan Thopson, a visitor from Newport Beach, Calif., with putting on proximity gear during "Where Science Takes Flight." There were six differnet displays durnig the three hour event, March 28.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Manuel F. Guerrero

Science takes flight aboard MCAS Miramar

3 Apr 2009 | Lance Cpl. Manuel F. Guerrero

More than 200 people attended the “Where Science Takes Flight” event here March 28, as  part of the 2009 San Diego Science Festival.

The event was one of 250 events across San Diego during the month-long science festival.

The three-hour expo highlighted how the station applies science to daily operations. Children interacted with Marines, which helped them further understand the military lifestyle.

“Hopefully this will spark an interest in the children to study science further,” said Janine M. Koffel, a school liaison for Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. “They could see science at work.”

Visitors viewed radio controlled flyers and interacted with crash crewmen from Aircraft Rescue Firefighting. Children also stepped into Marine’s boots when they tried on equipment.

“The radio control flyers taught more complex flight principles on a small scale and the attendees also got to talk to Marines who are responsible for maintaining and flying the aircraft,” said Koffel.

Visitors also took the opportunity to view and explore the cockpits of both a CH-53E “Super Stallion” and an F/A-18C “Hornet.”  They also talked to pilots and aircrew from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462 and Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101.

“The event showed the differences between fixed and rotary wings and how weather affects mission accomplishments,” said Koffel.

The community got a chance to see their neighbors and learned more about what Marines accomplish on a daily basis.

“With this event, hopefully the community understands our mission a little better and get to appreciate the demands and sacrifices our service members and their families make each day,” said Koffel. “Miramar has a role to play in the community above and beyond our military mission – we are a neighbor and this was an opportunity to welcome everybody by showcasing who we are and what we do.”

At the end of the day, visitors left with a better understanding of how science in the military works.

“The military is one of the biggest science recruiters and researchers in San Diego so they play a big part in the festival,” said Larry Bock, the coordinator of the San Diego Science Festival. “This was a chance to demonstrate how science can be used to protect us.”

The science festival culminates in an Expo Day Saturday at Balboa Park from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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3rd Marine Aircraft Wing