Blue Angels grounded for 2013 Fleet Week

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels pass Angel Island in the San Francisco Bay.(AP Photo/Noah Berger)
April 9, 2013 7:15:40 PM PDT
Federal budget cuts have forced the Navy to cancel all remaining 2013 performances by the Blue Angels, including their flights at Fleet Week.

The Blue Angels will not fly during San Francisco's fleet week festivities because of the federal spending cuts.

The United States Navy proudly supports the popular flying squad but when the across the board spending cuts hit, it was expected that the Blue Angels wings would be clipped.

San Francisco puts the economic benefit of fleet week at around $65 million dollars. And there is little question that without the Blue Angels, the crowds will be smaller.

The squadron will continue to train until further notice at its home station in Pensacola, Florida.

Some are concerned that there could be even more cuts made to Fleet Week.

"We may not even get a Parade of Ships. That will be the next shoe that will probably drop. First the Blue Angels and then maybe even the Parade of Ships that come up from San Diego," said (Ret.) United States Navy Capt. G. Thomas Spink Jr.

There was mixed reaction among some San Francisco residents about the Blue Angels cancellation.

"I'm a big fan of the Blue Angels I think they are really amazing feats of engineering, but it's a big question of where do they make the cuts," said San Francisco resident Leah Litman-Cleper.

"I think Fleet Week still has a lot of other things going on, unless the whole thing is cancelled, that would be kind of a bummer," said San Francisco resident Josh Neubert.

Randy Howell is the owner of the Patriots Jet team from Byron, Ca. His trainers have performed at Fleet Week the last nine years. He's hoping to get the call again this year.

"We've had a lot of phone calls and we're just hoping that Fleet Week stays open and available this year for us to fly," he said.

According to a press release by the Navy: "Recognizing budget realities, current Defense policy states that outreach events can only be supported with local assets at no cost to the government. This is one of many steps the Navy is taking to ensure resources are in place to support forces operating forward now and those training to relieve them."


Load Comments