U.S. Navy Blue Angels Look Forward to 2023 Season
July 25, 2023
Photography by Jeff Landreth
Welcome to the 2023 Blue Angels season! Since 1946, it has been their honor to represent the United States Navy and Marine Corps to audiences both locally and abroad as they showcase the excitement, precision, and power of naval aviation.
Their team consists of 138 world-class, active-duty Sailors and Marines, each one bringing experience and expertise from their service in the fleet. They are honored to serve as the representatives of the more than 800,000 active-duty, reserve, and civilian men and women currently serving worldwide in the Navy and Marine Corps.
By design and by their nature, naval forces operate abroad and are seldom seen by our nation’s citizens. The Blue Angels have the unique ability to highlight the importance of naval aviation while honoring its historical significance. They proudly represent the heritage, agility, flexibility, and importance of naval aviation in 21st-century warfighting.
Their team looks forward to showcasing the mainstay of modern naval air power operating off U.S. aircraft carriers, the combat-proven F/A-18 Super Hornet, along with the Marine Corps’ premiere logistics support aircraft, the C-130J Super Hercules. Both of these aircraft are operating around the world and around the clock carrying out the mission of our Navy and Marine Corps teams.
As they enter their 77th year with a dedication to the mission, strong work ethic, and a relentlessly positive attitude. These values have underscored every Blue Angels performance since the organization’s inception. Each member of their team strives daily to ensure the flight demonstration epitomizes the teamwork, professionalism, and precision found in every aspect of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Their team is thrilled to have the opportunity to share their passion for their profession and our nation with people around the world.
It is their privilege to perform and humbling to represent their fellow service members. They sincerely hope that whether this is the first, second, or 77th year that you have seen them fly, the sight and sound of a Blue Angels performance delivers exhilaration, pride in your defense forces, appreciation for teamwork, and the inspiration to achieve excellence!
About blue angels | 76 Years of aviation excellence
In 1946, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Chester Nimitz, had a vision to create a flight exhibition team in order to raise the public’s interest in naval aviation and boost Navy morale. In the 1940’s, we thrilled audiences with our precision combat maneuvers in the F6 Hellcat, the F8 Bearcat and the F9 Panther. During the 1950’s, we refined our demonstration with aerobatic maneuvers in the F9 Cougar and F-11 Tiger and introduced the first six-plane delta formation, still flown to this day. By the end of the 1960’s, we were flying the F-4 Phantom, the only two seat aircraft flown by the delta formation. In 1974, we transitioned to the A-4 Skyhawk, a smaller and lighter aircraft with a tighter turning radius allowing for a more dynamic flight demonstration. In 1986, we celebrated our 40th Anniversary by unveiling the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet. In 2021, we transitioned to our current aircraft the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet and celebrated our 75th anniversary.
In 1949, it became necessary for the Blue Angels to operate a support aircraft to move personnel and equipment between show sites. These support aircraft including the Douglas R4D Sky Train, the Curtiss R5C Commando, the Douglas R5D Skymaster, and the Lockheed C-121 Super Constellation. In 1970 the team received the Lockheed Martin C-130, affectionately known as “Fat Albert.” In 2020, “Fat Albert” transitioned to its current platform, the C-130J Super Hercules.