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Blue Angels Are Ready to Begin Their 2023 Training in Imperial Valley

-Editorial

The Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, is scheduled to arrive at the Naval Air Facility in El Centro, on Jan. 3, to begin their winter training for the 2023 show season.

The Blue Angels typically perform aerial displays in at least 60 shows annually at 30 locations throughout the United States and two shows at one location in Canada. The “Blues” still employ many of the same practices and techniques used in the inaugural 1946 season. An estimated 11 million spectators view the squadron during air shows from March through November each year. Members of the Blue Angels team also visit more than 50,000 people in schools, hospitals, and community functions at air show cities. Since 1946, the Blue Angels have flown for more than 505 million spectators.

As of November 2011, the Blue Angels received $37 million annually from the annual Department of Defense budget.

The mission of the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron is to showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to the country through flight demonstrations and community outreach.

The Blue Angels were originally formed in April 1946 as the Navy Flight Exhibition Team. They changed their name to the Blue Angels after seeing an advertisement for the New York nightclub The Blue Angel, also known as The Blue Angel Supper Club, in the New Yorker Magazine. The team was first introduced as the Blue Angels during an air show in July 1946.

The first Blue Angels demonstration aircraft wore navy blue (nearly black) with gold lettering. The current shades of blue and yellow were adopted when the first demonstration aircraft were transitioned from the Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat to the Grumman F8F-1 Bearcat in August 1946; the aircraft wore an all-yellow scheme with blue markings during the 1949 show season.

The original Blue Angels insignia or crest was designed in 1949, by Lt. Commander Raleigh “Dusty” Rhodes, their third Flight Leader and first jet fighter leader. The aircraft silhouettes change as the team changes aircraft.

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