Italian Air Force precision team flies over Grand Canyon, Vegas Strip

An Italian Air force precision demonstration team made a colorful green, white and red flight over the Las Vegas Strip on Wednesday as part of a North American tour headed to Los Angeles and Huntington Beach, California, for the U.S. Independence Day holiday.

Italy’s Aeronautica Militare team is called Frecce Tricolori, or "Tricolor Arrows" in English. It compares with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, which are based at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.

The Italian team flew Wednesday over the Grand Canyon in Arizona and refueled at Nellis as part of a 2024 North American tour including nine events and 17 flyovers.

Lt. Col. Massimiliano Salvatore, Frecce Tricolori’s commander, noted in a statement provided by Nellis that the tour of the U.S. and Canada is the first by the Italian National Aerobatic Team in more than three decades.


The Italian Air Force aerobatic unit "Frecce Tricolori" (Tricolor Arrows) performs before the semi-final match between Chile's Alejandro Tabilo and Germany's Alexander Zverev at the Mens ATP Rome Open tennis tournament at Foro Italico in Rome on May (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)

The wing is based at Rivolto Air Base in the northeastern Italian province of Udine. It features 10 pilots flying Italian-built Aermacchi MB-339 jets.

Flights are scheduled next week over the California cities of San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Francisco and Sacramento before heading to Canada.

Returning to the U.S., displays are scheduled July 27-28 in Chicago and Milwaukee, followed by flights and events in August in cities including Philadelphia, New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston.