Covid-19 and the Blue Angels

Covid-19 and homebound are causing some people to lose perspective.

What do I mean?

Blue Angels flyover

Blue Angels

The Blue Angels flew over the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland this morning. One of the television stations broadcasted the flyover.

Within minutes, people began commenting on the video. The first several comments lamented the flyover as a waste of money.  One noted the Blue Angels should not be celebrating first responders again, grossly misunderstanding the real purpose. There followed a demand to cancel flyovers and send the money to hospitals or to purchase personal protection equipment. Quickly more comments in the same vein followed.

Graduation

Naval Academy swearing-in

Now for my thoughts regarding the aerial demonstration. I have been in Maryland for almost forty years. Each year, in May, the Blue Angels honor the graduating Academy class with an aerial show. This year the show was a simple flyover to honor the men and women destined to serve their country as officers in the Navy or Marine Corps.

I know the Blue Angels and their air shows are part of the Navy’s recruitment effort. Though Blue Angels are not doing air shows, they need to maintain their proficiency for when the shows return. Flying in close formation is a skill best honed by doing it.  How close do they fly? The Navy frequently asked questions (FAQ) says they fly as close as eighteen inches during one maneuver.

Training and Shows

Wikipedia states the Blue Angels train in California during the winter months. They fly over 120 training missions before returning to their home base at Pensacola, Florida. There they fly practice sessions each Tuesday and Wednesday and air shows on weekends pre-pandemic. Their next air show will be in June 2020. Training and demonstrations paid from the thirty-seven million dollars allowed from the Department of Defense’s annual budget.

Bias taints my perspective. I am a retired US Navy Officer who loves watching the Blue Angels fly. I am not the only one who appreciates their air shows since the estimate is eleven million spectators watch them fly each year (Wikipedia again.)

Get a life

My advice to those who criticized their flyover today is to get a life. Enjoy the Blue Angels as they celebrate the graduation of this year’s Academy class.

 

 

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