Lt. Amanda Lee of Minnesota has become the first female pilot to join the iconic U.S. Navy Blue Angels in its 76-year history.
She is joning Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Zimmerman as the two newest F/A-18E/F Super Hornet demonstration pilots in the squadron.
Many women have been part of the Blue Angels squadron over the past 55 years, but this is the first time one has been named as a F/A-18E/F demonstration pilot.
“We had an overwhelming number of applicants from all over the globe this year,” Capt. Brian Kesselring said.
“We look forward to training our fantastic new team members, passing on the torch, and watching the incredible things this team will accomplish in 2023.”
There are usually only six F/A-18E/F aircraft that fly in demonstration flights.
The Blue Angels also announced the following officers who are joining: Marine Corps Capt. Samuel Petko as a C-130 Demonstration Pilot, Lt. Cmdr. Brian Vaught as an Events Coordinator, Lt. Cmdr. Greg Jones as Maintenance Officer, and Lt. Philippe Warren as Flight Surgeon.
Good Morning #BlueAngels fans!
It’s our pleasure to announce our 2023 officer selections!
The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, selected six new officers to join the team for the 2023 air show season. pic.twitter.com/OA8LRxvtHR
— Blue Angels (@BlueAngels) July 18, 2022
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The press release noted that candidates are brought in to be interviewed at the team’s home base in Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida, during the week of the Pensacola Beach Airshow. They are selected at the conclusion of that week.
The new selectees will report to NAS Pensacola in September for a two-month turnover period. Following the completion of the 2022 season in November, the new members will then undergo five months of training at NAS Pensacola and the Naval Air Facility in El Centro, California.
There are 17 officers with the Blue Angels, and they typically serve two years with the squadron, their website noted.
The Blue Angels are featured in flight exhibitions across the nation every year. They were founded in 1946.
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Author: David Rufful
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