Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point --
Tens of thousands of spectators cheered as America’s most energizing military performance group pierced through the Cherry Point sky.
The Navy Blue Angels had heads turning as the roar from their F/A-18 Hornets at the 2010 Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, May 21-23, could be heard for miles.
“The Blue Angels represent the best that the fleet has to offer,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class John A. Lamson, crew chief for the Blue Angels.
According to the Blue Angels Web site, the mission of the Blue Angels is to enhance U.S. Navy recruiting, and to represent Navy and Marine Corps aviation to the United States and other countries as international ambassadors of goodwill.
“There are 130 members of the Blue Angels’ family,” said Lamson. “We have 15 officers and the rest are enlisted men and women of both services.”
The Blue Angles are known for their amazing acrobatic skills, but they also fly around their own “Fat Albert,” a Lockheed-Martin C-130T Hercules.
Fat Albert is piloted by an all-Marine crew, with three officers and five enlisted personnel operating the aircraft. Fat Albert’s mission is to carry more than 40 maintenance and support personnel, the gear, enough spare parts and the communication equipment needed to complete a successful air show.
“This has been the best air show of the year,” said Navy Lt. C.J. Simonsen, the pilot of Blue Angel number 7.
Kids gave a unanimous response when asked how they felt about the air show and how much they liked the Blue Angels.
They had nothing but good things to say. Many of the children said the Blue Angels were cool and held a great performance.
With such a small team, the Blue Angels are a family and do almost everything together. Each Marine and Sailor learns about one another’s job within the team.
“Even as a crew chief I do almost everything the same as the pilots,” said Lamson. “We all go to schools to talk to kids and even visit hospitals. The only thing the pilots do that I don’t is fly.”