PENSACOLA, Florida — U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, announced officers selected for the 2018 air show season, July 8.
The squadron selected two F/A-18 demonstration pilots, a C-130 demonstration pilot, maintenance officer, and public affairs officer to join a previously selected commanding officer on the 2018 team.
Each officer was recommended for selection by Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. James Bynum, and ultimately approved by Chief of Naval Air Forces Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, for final selection to the 2018 Blue Angels team.
Many highly qualified Navy and Marine Corps officers submit applications to join the Blue Angels each year.
“I am incredibly impressed by the quality, professionalism, and talent of the Sailors and Marines who apply for this team,” said Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi, commanding officer and flight leader of the Blue Angels. “We’re going to field a superb team next year and I am excited to see them continue the legacy of representing the pride and professionalism of the Navy and Marine Corps.”
The Blue Angels select “finalists” to interview at the team’s home base of Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida, during the week of the Pensacola Beach Air Show each year. The team makes selections at the conclusion of that week.
The newly selected 2018 officers include:
F/A-18 Demonstration Pilots:
Marine Maj. Jeffrey Mullins, 30, of Memphis, Tennessee, is an F/A-18 Hornet pilot currently assigned to Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 31. He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2006.
Navy Lt. Andre Webb, 31, of Lawton, Oklahoma, is an F/A-18 Hornet pilot currently assigned to the “Golden Eagles” of Training Squadron (VT) 22. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2008.
C-130 Demonstration Pilot:
Marine Capt. Beau Mabery, 28, of Lompoc, California, is a C-130 Hercules pilot currently assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 152. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2011.
Navy Lt. Garrett Hopkins, 38, of Charlotte, North Carolina, is a maintenance officer currently assigned to Strike Fighter Wing Pacific Detachment (SFWPD) Fallon. He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2009.
Public Affairs Officer:
Navy Lt. David Gardner, 36, of Warrensburg, Missouri, is a public affairs officer currently assigned to the USS Makin Island (LHD 8). He graduated from the University of Central Missouri in 2003.
Pre-selected to join the 2018 team was:
Commanding Officer, Flight Leader:
Navy Cmdr. Eric Doyle, 43, of League City, Texas.
Expected to return for the 2018 season are:
F/A-18 Demonstration Pilots:
Navy Lt. Damon Kroes, 35, of Fremont, California.
Navy Lt. Nate Scott, 32, of Danville, California.
Navy Lt. Tyler Davies, 35, of Kennesaw, Georgia.
Navy Lt. Brandon Hempler, 33, of Wamego, Kansas.
C-130 Demonstration Pilots:
Marine Maj. Mark Montgomery, 37, of Cartersville, Georgia.
Marine Maj. Kyle Maschner, 34, of Scottsdale, Arizona.
Navy Cmdr. Matt Kaslik, 44, of The Woodlands, Texas.
Navy Lt. Dave Steppe, 32, of Birmingham, Alabama.
Navy Lt. Juan Guerra, 32, of Ocala, Florida.
Navy Lt. Bryan Pace, 33, of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Navy Lt. j.g. Timothy Hawkins, 38, of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
The mission of the Blue Angels is to showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach.
For more information, contact Blue Angels Public Affairs at (850) 452-3955 or firstname.lastname@example.org.