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Navy Blue Angels Fly Into Era of Budget Questions

PENSACOLA NAVAL AIR STATION, Fla. (AP) — The Navy’s Blue Angels have been thrilling audiences for more than six decades with their acrobatic flying in fighter planes, but a new era of federal budget worries and proposed deficit cutting has some inside and outside the military raising questions about the millions it costs to produce their shows. Some want the popular shows grounded and some readers of the Air Force Times newspaper — most of them active or retired service members — recently listed… ( さらに...

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I like to see both Air Force and Navy demo teams keep flying. At least I know where my hard earned money is going too!
LT4247 0
When we stop sending Egypt over a billion dollars every year we might think about it....
Tim Smith 0
Agreed, stop sending aid to other countries. Fix what you need to at home before you fix the world....hopefully one day those associated with the liberal side of politics will realize this.
tangolima 0
Since Congress only has an approval rating of 9%, I say lets cut their salaries enough to pay for both aerial demonstration teams, the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds. I get far more satisfaction watching either one than watching these morons in Washington...ALL of them. If this funding gets cut, maybe the final performance by both teams would be to strafe Capitol Hill...
Don Imus 0
@ Tim. Nobody likes the Blues more than I do. Used to be an F14 driver. Yes, I realize they are 18s. But your read of politics is really quite comical. "Liberals" did not start a dumb war with Iraq that has cost over a TRILLION bucks. And many a good young life. You likely don't know math. Let me help. A trillion is a THOUSAND billions that went to Egypt. You want to be pissed about money going to foreign counties, start with your boy Bush. Ducked his own war in Vietnam and couldn't wait to waste precious dollars and young lives. I don't believe he is a "liberal".
A correction for you Don. Insane radical Muslims started a war with the United States. George Bush answered the call, and Barrack Obama saw it to the end. Well, almost the end. President Bush, flew single seat, single engine fighters defending the our southern boarder. Anyone who drew flight pay knows the danger of being in an old technology jet at night, over water. I don't think that can be classified as a "duck". That would be equivelent to saying guys flying Med cruises, ducked duty in Viet Nam.
preacher1 0
All of ya'll have good points. Nobody has been perfect that has been up there but Tim makes one valid point. Let's stop giving it away and take care of the home front first, THEN, if there is any leftover, help them. I personally am tired of helping every little 3rd world country that comes along and in gratitude they turn around and kick our ass on something or otherwise thumb their nose at us. IMHO
Wayne, I couldn't agree more!
btweston 0
Um, perhaps you don't remember, but it is widely accepted that Bush II did little to nothing during his time in the Air National Guard.

And please don't pretend that flying around in Texas constitutes "defending our southern [border]."

But if by "answered the call" you mean "shipped a bunch of high school graduates halfway around the world with absolutely no plan to actually accomplish anything," then we can agree on that point.
Brady, you may not be old enough to remember that Fidel Castro welcomed the Russians to Cuba. I personally saw their war ships off the coast in the Gulf of Mexico. Don't think for a minute that the defense of the gulf was a farce. The F-102s at Ellington and Navy New Orleans were a critical part of our statement to the communist they would die trying to invade our homeland.

The plan, when invading Afghanistan was to destroy the ability of the taliban to conduct operations within our boarders. Think about that and tell me we weren't successful. Or better yet, say it to the hundreds of thousand of American soldiers who made it happen. Say it loud and clear and post your name and address.
preacher1 0
Well, I saw them too and per Shad Bell here below, those were all VOLUNTEERS in the Army and made up an Army that our Commander in Chief sent overseas. Per Richard's comment above, they DID take out the Taliban. If a mistake was made, it might have been going into Iraq before Afghanistan was totally secure but that is another story. I personally figure that had another President besides OBAMA came into the office, the timetable for getting out might have been even a little faster, since HE might have been able to make a decision, and that ain't Bush's fault.
Shad Bell 0
The fact that ya'll are talking about George W Bush is stupid! He has nothing to do with this! Who cares what he did in the military?! A past politician's participation in the armed forces is irrelevant!

Also, @Brady Weston, I don't recall their being any draft sending these "high school graduates" halfway around the world. EVERY SINGLE SOLDIER that has been deployed to the Middle East is over there because THEY SIGNED UP VOLUNTARILY...
Toby Sharp 0
just put the Blue paint on some Piper Cubs and we will save all kinds of money !
alistairm 0
Actual money trees do not exist. Neither do endless convoys of dumptrucks full of money. I get the feeling that many folks on this site wear blinders a lot of the times and don't care or think about anything else, as long as "it" flies. The Blue Angels are a great act to watch. However, they do not serve a purpose when it comes to defending the country. They are a frill expense. Would you rather see an actual combat squadron get decommissioned instead? Let's get real folks. It's like complaining about a cable channel you hardly watch being pulled. People will get over it!
Actually, that is incorrect. The Blue Angels and Thunderbirds are by far the best recruitment tool the Navy/Marines and Air Force have. So to say they don't serve a purpose in defending the country would be incorrect. Thanks to these shows, how many have gone to the recruitment office soon after to join either of the two services. Not to mention all the aircraft both demonstration teams fly can be combat ready in a matter of hours. I agree that it could be considered wasteful spending, but how much more wasteful spending goes on in Washington outside just the department of defense. Maybe would should start by cutting salaries of the politicians (both sides of the isle) for doing nothing but running this country into the ground.
While it is correct that the Thunderbirds F-16s can be combat ready in a matter of hours (with the exception of having to be repainted), the weapons systems in the Blue Angels F/A-18s aren't installed. It would take several months for the Blue Angels to become combat ready.

Regardless, the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds are two of the best recruiting tools our military has. Drop them, and you will not only reduce the number of young men and women who volunteer to defend the United States, but a number of airshows nationwide will cease. Just like at rock concerts, most people don't go to see the openeing acts, but to see the headliners.
alistairm 0
Several months to become combat ready? As per the official Blue Angels website: "The Blue Angel F/A-18s have the nose cannon removed, a smoke-oil tank installed and a spring installed on the stick which applies pressure for better formation and inverted flying. Otherwise, the aircraft that the squadron flies are the same as those in the fleet. Each Blue Angel aircraft is fleet capable of being returned to combat duty aboard an aircraft carrier within 72 hours."

Sorry, i could not resist;)
alistairm 0
Yes, they are a recruitment tool, anyone knows that. And yes, the aircraft can be combat ready in a matter of hours, that is a well known fact as well. But they are not the first ones to be called to the front lines. They are not the ones defending the airspace. If the Blue Angels were disbanded, it would really not have any significant impact on the present defence of the country. Further, i am sure the Navy would find other creative ways to recruit.
Shad Bell 0
It would be heartbreaking to see the Blues go... They are the reason I became a pilot. I don't fly for the military, but their majestic display of aviation reeled me in to what has become the passion of my life. I don't want to get into a political debate on here, but I am SICK AND FREAKING TIRED of idiots in Washington picking and choosing what goes and what stays... The purpose of a program like the Blues plays a waaaaay more important role than most of the crap these empty suits spend money on!
preacher1 0
Shad, I greee with both you and Alistair, in that there are a lot of things much less important that ought to get the axe first. Problem is that they will go by department, and the defense dept. will only be looking at their own house, not somebody else's
Do what wean to try to fix Washington over time, and the borders. ?? How many illegals are flying airplanes in any of the services, well it's a thought anyway. What they cost us would probably take care of the 'birds, angels,eagles not to forget MCorp or CGaurd.
Do what we can to try to fix Washington over time, and the borders. ?? How many illegals are flying airplanes in any of the services, well it's a thought anyway. What they cost us would probably take care of the 'birds, angels,eagles not to forget MCorp or CGaurd.
Sorry fix Washington and support our military
TTail 0
i bet they could find 37 billion dollars that are wasted. 37 million is a drop in the bucket. i think if they go away for a while it wouldnt be bad, buy can they wait until 2013?? they are on the schedule for GJT next summer. one more show for me too see before their possible disestablishment. PLEASE??
preacher1 0
I don't think the budget cuts take effect until January, 2013. That said, payroll tax cut and unemployment extensions go out January 1, 2012
I hope the Angels aren't permanently grounded!
dmanuel 0
If they pull funding for the Navy Flight Demonstration Team, can we identify who "they" are, so we can help reduce funding for programs they value, but we do not?
If we eliminate SecDef Leon Panetta's weekly roundtrips to his California home and business, we could save enough to partially fund the Blues. The 89th Special Airlift Wing estimates the cost of operating a GV at $3200.00. The actual cost is near $6000.00. My math says he spends 3.2 million tax payer dollars per year for his personal comfort. Penetta does reimburse about $52,000.00 to the goverment for the privilege. Sounds fair, if you're a bureaucrat.
Congress requires that anyone on the list of Presidential Succession (Sec. of Defense is #5) must fly on military or government aircraft and must be in constant contact with his dept., and the military. You want that changed, it has to start in the Congress.
preacher1 0
I guess that's how Pelosi got her's, huh?
At least Panetta is using a GV. Her Royal Highness used a B757 to haul her butt to SFO. Her booze and food bill was nearly as high as Panetta fuel bill.
Wesley, I concede the point that Panetta must be in constant contact with the POTUS and the Pentagon. The difference lies in the fact he is not a Senator or Congressman representing a district or state. He works for the federal government in Washington D.C. If he doesn't want to move his family to DC maybe he should reconsider his options. He can still perform all the OFFICIAL travel he deems necessary.

To your other point on service consolidation. Each service has its own culture. Imagine an Air Force pilot fitting into a Marine Rifle platoon. There are different mission requirements that make little sense to soldiers outside of the cultures. That being said, there has been an effort to integrate logistics. There is greater co-operation in weapons system development and procurement. However, please think of that Marine Platoon Leader fittings into a Fighter Squadron, or for that matter even understanding how it operates.

The military presence in communities is an important part of the economic engine. When too much consolidation takes place, it tends to force the area to forsake other forms of economic growth, and concentrate their energies on appeasing the most important customer. Time and time again this has devastated communities when the military downsizes or leaves. In the case of military basing it's best to spread them out for economic and strategic reasons.
OK, here is an idea.... I'm sure it will ruffle some feathers, but lets take a look at a few facts.....

The US Uniformed Services are 7 in number. Consisting of the 5 Military or Armed Services and the NOAA and NHS commissioned corps.

The five Armed Services, being the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Air Force have a combined total of 1.85 million men and women serving, plus another 650,000 civilian and locally hired employees. We have a total of 740 bases world-wide, in 63 different countries. We have between 800 and 1,000 bases world-wide including those in the US.

The Air Force has planes, as does the Navy and the Marines and the Army and the Coast Guard. Many of them are the same planes, which means multiple maintenance facilities, with spare parts stored in multiple facilities. The Joint Strike Fighter, the F35 will be delivered to the Air Force, the Navy and the Marines, each of which will have to have trained personnel to service it, each of which will have to maintain spare parts, each of which will have to train enlisted personnel to service the planes.

Now, imagine for a moment if we could do away with the Air Force, the Navy and the Marines and instead replace them with a single branch. Instead of having a Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort County South Carolina, another in New River, North Carolina, yet another in Cherry Point, North Carolina and an Air Force Base in Columbia, South Carolina, another in Charlotte, North Carolina, another in Charleston, South Carolina, another in Greenville, South Carolina...and on and on and on, I could list the 21 Air Force installations in South Carolina, as well as those of the Army, Navy and Marines. There is a military base in every state in the union, save New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Well, lets consolidate them, do away with the duplications and the repetitiveness that is running rampant.

Imagine the savings.
preacher1 0
You know, BRAC was establshed several years ago to do just that, supposedly non political , BUT, not much has been heard from it lately, although still in existence, after their first round of closings, when there was such an outcry of "not in my district. I think congress neutered it somewhere along the way.
It may be time to stand down.
Fuel costs and thanks to the D.C. or 51st ward deep thinkers...
What about the Thunderbirds? Oh I forgot.....Air Force Times readers.


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