Citing budget woes, Navy cancels Blue Angels season - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Blue Angels grounded for 2013 season

Approximately 11 million people each year watch the Blue Angels perform their aerial stunt shows. (Source: Blue Angels/U.S. Navy) Approximately 11 million people each year watch the Blue Angels perform their aerial stunt shows. (Source: Blue Angels/U.S. Navy)

(RNN) - The Blue Angels will not perform the remainder of their 2013 shows, citing lack of resources caused by mandatory federal spending cuts.

The Navy made the announcement on Tuesday, saying in a press release that "budget realities" forced the decision.

"The Navy believes there is value in demonstrating the professionalism and capabilities of our Navy and Marine Corps Naval Aviation team, thus inspiring future generations of Sailors and Marines," the release said. "The Navy intends to continue aerial demonstrations in the future as the budget situation permits."

The Blue Angels will continue to train at their home base in Pensacola, FL.

The Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron - the official name of the Blue Angels - was established in April 1946, and the team flew its first show two months later.

The team flies F/A 18 Hornets with a signature blue and yellow paint scheme, and a C-130 Hercules nicknamed Fat Albert flies support for the team.

The squadron is comprised of 16 Navy and Marine pilots who have previously logged extensive jet flight time. Service time with the team is typically two to three years.

It is estimated that 11 million people view their aerial demonstrations each year. The mission of the Blue Angels is to enhance recruiting for the Navy and Marine Corps.

The Thunderbirds, an aerial demonstration team for the Air Force, also announced that it would cancel its season. They have been performing exhibition since 1953.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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