Fed Lifts Grounding Of Military Jet Teams; OC Air Show Not On Blue Angels Schedule

Fed Lifts Grounding Of Military Jet Teams; OC Air Show Not On Blue Angels Schedule
Fed Lifts

OCEAN CITY — After being grounded for many of its show appearances last year, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels are back in business for 2014, the Pentagon announced on Tuesday, but the Ocean City Air Show will not be one of their stops.
The Pentagon announced this week it was reinstating the Blue Angels, the Air Force Thunderbirds and other military demonstration units after grounding the teams last year due to federal budget cuts related to sequestration. The Blue Angels were scheduled to appear at the Ocean City Air Show last June, but were forced to cancel when the team and other military demonstration teams were shuttered due to federal budget cuts.
The result was an all-civilian line-up for the 2013 Ocean City Air Show, which did successfully schedule an appearance by a privately owned and operated Harrier jet demonstration team. With the Blue Angels, Thunderbirds and other demonstration teams now back in business, Ocean City Air Show officials are confident they will be able to book some military air show teams for the 2014 event, which is set for June 8-9. Unfortunately, the Blue Angels have already set their 2014 schedule and it does not include the Ocean City Air Show.
The Blue Angels plan their air show stops and other appearances on a two-year cycle. The last cycle was scheduled in 2012, meaning the 2014 is already set. The Blue Angels will release their schedule for 2015-2016 in December. The Thunderbirds set their schedule for just one year and are scheduled to announce their 2014 appearances at the same event in Las Vegas in December.
“The Blue Angels announced their 2014 schedule in December of 2012 as they plan their schedule two years ahead of time,” said Ocean City Air Show producer Bryan Lilley. “The Thunderbirds have a one-year planning cycle and will announce their 2014 schedule this December. Both come out at the International Council of Air Shows Convention in Las Vegas.”
After a year with no military teams in 2013 due to sequestration, Lilley said the Ocean City Air Show is now pursuing the Thunderbirds for 2014 and the Blue Angels in out years, along with other military demonstration teams.
“We are in discussion with the scheduling officers of both the Thunderbirds and the Blues for future years,” he said. “We will also request single ship demos from the USAF, USN and USMC as consistent with previous years.”
The Ocean City Air Show has in the past featured a solid line-up of military demonstration teams including the Thunderbirds in 2012, along with an F-18 Hornet team, the Navy Seal Leap Frogs parachute team and the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles parachute team to complement its line-up of exciting civilian and private sector acts.
The U.S. Navy announced the reinstatement of the Blue Angels and its other demonstration teams including the Leap Frogs parachute team on Tuesday.
“Community outreach is key to connecting Americans to the military,” said Blue Angels Commanding Officer and Flight Leader Commander Thomas Frosch. “Our performances provided a unique opportunity to inspire millions to connect with and support our service members and we are looking forward to an exciting 2014 season.”
That season will not include the Ocean City Air Show, however. The Blue Angels have several shows booked for June including June 1 in La Crosse, Wisconsin, June 7-8 in Pittsburgh and June 14-15 in Smyrna, Tenn.
A tentative date hold of June 14-15 has been secured for the Ocean City Air Show.