READY FOR TAKEOFF: Blue Angels prepare to dazzle at Ellsworth Air Show

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. — We’re very close to the 2022 Ellsworth Air and Space Show and the headliners have finally arrived.

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will be performing this Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

“I’ve been in the Navy for over 24 years, and this has been a life’s dream of mine just like everybody else on the team,” says Lt. Brian Abe, a maintenance officer for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. “We apply to be here, and I was lucky enough to be selected, and I am just fortunate to be working among the best the Navy and Marine Corps have to offer.”

Thumbnail Img 2506The men and women of the Blue Angels exemplify the teamwork and dedication it takes to be among the best flight demo teams on the planet.

Shawna Diggins, the command career counselor for the Blue Angels, says, “To become an Angel, they go through a special program screening and we do an interview phase, and then once you’re hired and you complete your tour, you just go back in the regular fleet.”

No matter the weather, the entire crew relies on precision training to execute their incredible maneuvers.

Behind the mind-blowing displays are mechanics, keeping the F/A-18 Super Hornets in pristine condition.

“They’re out here three hours before the first flight and they’re out here – cold, rain, wind, doesn’t matter – they’re out here getting these jets ready,” Lt. Abe says. “They’ll look them over and then when they fly, if they come back and the jets are broken, then they’ll go back to work and they’ll get them fixed and ready for the next day.”

And there’s a whole lot of girl power in this male-dominated field.

“There are a lot of women on the team,” Diggins says. “We have some female support officers and female maintainers. I started in the Navy as a mechanic, which is pretty male-dominant, but we’re all about equal opportunity and we take on just as much as the men do on the team.”

The Blue Angels will perform this Saturday and Sunday, May 14 and 15, during the Ellsworth Air and Space Show, so bring your cameras – and earplugs – and get ready to be amazed.

CLICK HERE for more information on the 2022 Ellsworth Air and Space Show, including flight times and base access information.

Categories: Air & Space Show, ConnectCenter1-Events, ConnectCenter1-Military, Local News, South Dakota News