EL CENTRO RALLY
The Blue Angels spend January through March in EL Centro, CA for winter training. They do this each year before the start of the show season to train new team members.
Fifteen miles from the border of Mexico, the city of El Centro in California's Imperial Valley has something most hard luck small towns don't: the Blue Angels. For 45 years, the city has been the winter training home of the Navy's flight demonstration squadron. The "Blues," as the locals call them, have been an enduring source of pride for the desert community. "They've done a fine job; they're ready to go and they're taking off." And then it will be a long, hot and quiet summer around this desert city.
For the past tree years, the HMC Club has been holding a Rally in Early March. The following is some information on the Blue Angeles and photos from the rally....
Hope you enjoy the El Centro Rally....
It's early morning and a dozen or so people are perched alongside the irrigation ditches. The Blue Angels' training schedule is like a daily weather report here. The town's alarm clock is the sound of F/A-18 Hornets firing up their engines.
"They've done a fine job; they're ready to go and they're taking off." And then it will be a long, hot and quiet summer around this desert city.
A total of 16 officers voluntarily serve with the Blue Angels. Each year the team typically selects three tactical (fighter or fighter/attack) jet pilots, two support officers and one Marine Corps C-130 pilot to relieve departing members.
The Chief of Naval Air Training selects the "Boss," the Blue Angels Commanding Officer. Boss must have at least 3,000 tactical jet flight-hours and have commanded a tactical jet squadron. The Commanding Officer flies the Number 1 jet. Career-oriented Navy and Marine Corps jet pilots with an aircraft carrier qualification and a minimum of 1,250 tactical jet flight-hours are eligible for positions flying jets Number 2 through 7. The Events Coordinator, Number 8, is a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) or a Weapons Systems Officer (WSO) who meets the same criteria as Numbers 2 through 7. The Marine Corps pilots flying the C-130T Hercules aircraft, affectionately known as "Fat Albert," must be aircraft commander qualified with at least 1,200 flight hours.
Career-oriented officers specializing in maintenance, administration, aviation medicine, public affairs and supply fill support positions. The Blue Angels base their selection of officers on professional ability, military bearing and communication skills. Blue Angels officers are well-rounded representatives of their fleet counterparts.
Demonstration pilots, the Events Coordinator, Maintenance Officer and Flight Surgeon serve two years with the squadron. The other officers typically serve three years with the team. Blue Angels officers return to the fleet after their tours of duty.
DON'T GO AWAY....
Now that we given you some information on the Blue Angels, would you like to see some photos from the rally?
Page 2 of the El Centro Rally
This page was last updated: April 7, 2012