The Flight Demonstration Squadron of the US Navy, known as the Blue Angels, has announced the six new people who will join the team during the 2023 air show season. 

Among them is Lieutenant Amanda Lee, who becomes the first female pilot to fly in a demo jet with the team. Lee is currently assigned to the Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106), known as the ‘Gladiators’, which is based at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia. 

“For over 55 years, hundreds of women have served with the Blue Angels representing the very best of the Navy and Marine Corps,” the team said in a press release. “Come the start of the 2023 show season, these six selectees will join the ranks of the US Navy’s most elite aviation officers, ground support officers, and enlisted maintenance personnel already serving on the team.” 

From November 2022, the end of the show season, the six new members will undergo a “rigorous five-month training program” at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, and Naval Air Facility El Centro, California. 

Lee is not the first female to fly for the Blue Angels. For the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Major Katie Higgins Cook of the US Marine Corps flew ‘Fat Albert’, the C-130 logistics aircraft that follows the display team to their shows. 

(Credit: U.S. Navy photo)

READ MORE:
 
Air display teams are a common sight in many celebrations. But how did they come to be? And why do air forces maintain them?