EL CENTRO - The Navy's Blue Angels have made The Imperial Valley their home during the Winter for more than 35 years now… Earlier today, they arrived at Naval Air Facility El Centro to begin their 3 month-long training for their upcoming schedule.
The Blue Angels' schedule will include over 70 air shows in 34 different locations around the country, including one here in The Imperial Valley.
After a 4-hour flight from Pensacola, the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron of 7 jets flew into NAF El Centro around 2 this afternoon.
The pilots were all smiles when they exited their jets… The Imperial Valley is, after all, their home away from home.
"The weather here is amazing, there is a reason we call this our second home. Once we show here, the weather's phenomenal, it hardly ever rains, there are hardly ever any clouds in the sky, there's so much great air space and ranges for us to fly in. The training we get here is second to none".
Lieutenant Tickle says that Teamwork is the key to the success of any squadron but more importantly in The Blue Angels. He says that you can't have a team without everyone being on the same page.
"There is no individual on The Blue Angels, it's the team, and everybody does everything for the team. We take great pride in wearing our crest. We all buy into that concept that way we can all work together and strive together to achieve success".
Besides the air shows, the Blue Angels also visit over 50,000 people in hospitals, schools and of course all those that attend their shows.
"It's such a great experience to be able to look at these little kids and see their faces, see their smiles and their happiness. They look at these blue jets and they get so excited. Most people don't know that The Blue Angels are in the Navy but that's our job and to go out there and showcase and represent that Navy and Marine Corps to the public"
The Blue Angels will go through a demanding schedule here in El Centro; they will have 2 training sessions a day, 6 days a week from now until mid March, when their schedule of air shows begin.
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