The awe of the Blue Angels turns to awe shucks today. This was expected to be the final practice for the team for awhile.
"I'm sad because they're a great recruitment for the military, the Navy, the Marines or whatever, says James Mulford from Mississippi. As the Blues land today they answer to a new boss. Captain Keith Hoskins was made the new commanding officer of NAS Pensacola today. He's the first African-American to hold that post and as the first former Blue Angel CO, I asked him how he feels that one of the Navy's most public faces is going into hiatus because of sequestration. He responded as most officers do when asked about sequestration.
"I'm not going to comment on that, I'm going to focus and lead Naval Air Station Pensacola," says Hoskins. Outside people had plenty to say about the hiatus for hometown heroes.
"I think it's pretty ridiculous because they won't be touring the country this year and I think it's very important to understand the precision and skill our pilots use," says Bill from Pensacola. At least one person I spoke with took a different view.
"Well it's too bad, it's always fun to see them but I understand you have to cut what you've got to cut they are kind of non-essential in terms of national defense," says Joe Cosgrove from Minnesota. More practices are set for next week. Here's what a news release from the Navy said late this afternoon:
"Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, will resume practice demonstrations following the Easter weekend, Tuesday through Friday, April 2-5th; with take-offs from Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola scheduled for 11:30 a.m.
Bleacher seating is provided behind the National Naval Aviation Museum.
Following Wednesday's practice, the team will visit the museum to answer questions and sign autographs.
Friday's practice will launch from NAS Pensacola but the practice demonstration will not be viewable from the base or the National Museum of Naval Aviation.
The Blue Angels' practice schedule for the remainder of April is still to be determined; updates will be released as soon as they become available."