Take Two for April 10, 2013

Budget cuts force grounding of Navy's Blue Angels air show

U.S. Navy's Blue Angels Perform Over Key West

Handout/Getty Images

The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels perform their precision aerobatics over the Florida Keys during the Southernmost Air Spectacular at Naval Air Station Key West on March 23, 2013, in Key West, Florida. The weekend air show concludes Sunday, March 24, and may mark the the last Blue Angels performance through the end of September 2013 due to sequester budget cuts.

The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels soar over the Florida Keys during a March 23 air show. The group has canceled several air shows in April and May, reportedly owing to budget cuts.

/Getty Images

The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels soar over the Florida Keys during a March 23 air show. The group has <a href="http://blog.al.com/gulf-coast/2013/04/blue_angels_practices_shows_ca.html">canceled several air shows</a> in <a href="http://www.blueangels.navy.mil/show/">April and May</a>, reportedly owing to budget cuts.

Courtesy of Ted Gallinat

The Blue Angels fleet practices in the sky above El Centro, Calif. on Feb. 11, 2012.


The sequestration axe has fallen on one of U.S. military's biggest attractions. Citing budget cuts, the Navy is grounding the Blue Angels for the rest of 2013. 

The Blue Angels' absence creates a void in air shows across the country, including the Miramar Air Show, which takes place in October outside of San Diego. 

"In past years, with the Blue Angels and our other acts the air show has more or less remained the same from year to year," said Marine Lieutenant Tyler Balzer, one of the organizers of the event, on Take Two. "So this is a chance for people who have been coming out for a decade or two decades to experience something new."

Though the free annual show — which costs around $1 million to produce — is largely self funded through sponsorship, fees and the sale of premium seats at the event, the Blue Angels show will still have to sit this one out.  Tens of thousands of fans descend on the Miramar Air Show every year to watch the F/A-18 Hornets speed by over head. 

"To be honest, the Blue Angels are certainly a crowd favorite, they're something everyone enjoys seeing, but this is something we've been planning as an eventuality for a while," said Balzer. "From the folks we've been talking to so far, certainly it's important that the Blue Angels won't be making it, but we're confident that we're going to provide something for folks will enjoy."

 To make up for the loss of a crowd favorite, the Marines are planning an intensive demonstration of the military tactics, including the dropping of fighter jets dropping bombs, tanks and amphibious vehicles, helicopters releasing troops, and much more. 

 The Marine Air Ground Task Force is basically all the capabilities brings to the fight is our own air craft, our own infantry marines, our own tech, everything like that," said Balzer. "What we're going to show people is a simulation for what an attack like that would look like."

The cancellation of the Blue Angels' remaining 2013 appearances is expected to save the Department of Defense around $20 million.  


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