Blue Angels commander: Mission of air show goes beyond just entertainment

Blue Angels commander: Mission of air show goes beyond just entertainment

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Ahead of this weekend's Wings Over Myrtle Beach Air Show, the commander of the Blue Angels gave a rundown of the preparations ahead of the event.

Commander Eric Doyle took over as the commander of the Blue Angels last November.

He said all of the pilots begin their careers in the Navy and many will go back to the fleet after spending some time with the Blue Angels.

"So all the pilots, all of the maintainers, all of our officers are either in the Navy or the Marine Corps, active duty," Doyle said. "(They) will spend a short tour here with us and then go back. So a lot of that training starts in the Navy or Marine Corps and then we hone those skills when we get here to the Blue Angles."

As for their show, Doyle said the squadron stays within five miles of the airfield since most of the performance is visual.

"And we look at all the landmarks for all of our ins and all of the safe lines to get in and out of the airshow location, so a lot of landmarks for that," he said. "It's a very similar show in each location; we just pick it up and put it down in a new spot and we use those landmarks to find the spots."

While these jets will go fast, there is one threshold they won't crack.

"We will fly right up to the speed of sound in the air show, so we won't break that limit during the air show or over land here, but these jets will go pretty fast," Doyle said.

The mission of the Blue Angels is to entertain and encourage attendees to consider a career in the Navy or the Marines. Still, that's not the whole of their mission.

"We, we're about inspiration and you come to an air show like this and we just want people to excel and find what motivates them and go out and do it," Doyle said. "Never take no for an answer and keep striving for excellence."

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