Lt. Dan Steppe and Lt. Andre Webb, both attached the Navy Flight Demonstration Team, The Blue Angels, arrived at Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jax) May 14 to discuss and coordinate the annual air demonstration show that is slated to take place in October.
“It’s always an amazing show for us,” said Steppe, who is the event coordinator for the Blue Angels.
“We normally finish it right before we get to Pensacola because it is the birthplace of the Blue Angels. Since 1946 we’ve been performing, so basically we’ve been coming back to Jacksonville for the past 72 years. It’s a blast for the team to come back to experience the city and experience the community.”
Webb, who is the narrator for the Blue Angels, expressed the importance of the utilizing opportunities like the NAS Jax Air Show as a recruiting tool for the Navy.
“It’s an extraordinary responsibility for us, as well as the rest of our team, as being the most seen recruiting tool for the Navy in terms of public relations,” said Webb.
“It’s easy to see the planes flying around regardless of if you’re at the air show. It’s incredible for us every single day.”
After a brief media availability, Steppe and Webb met with key personnel to discuss coordination, planning and organizing of the air show.
Among the topics discussed were safety measures, community outreach events, show specifications and requirements, public relations and the timeline of events.
“We have been to every single show site that we are going to perform at this season,” said Webb.
“We are just reminding folks that we’re coming back. We work with the local team that coordinates the air show to make sure that everything is just kind of laying flat and ready. Our jobs are to make sure that when the rest of the team shows up, their minds are focused on flying air shows, meeting the public and representing the Navy to the best extent possible. “
The Blue Angels are also planning to visit schools, hospitals and community functions to interact with the community and to showcase the professionalism, excellence and teamwork found in U.S. Navy and Marine Corps units.
The Blue Angels were founded under the direction of former Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Chester Nimitz in 1946 in order to raise public interest in Naval aviation and to boost Navy morale. Since its inception, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 450 million spectators worldwide.