CLEVELAND (NNS) -- The United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron "Blue Angels" took to the air above Cleveland during their National Air Show held at the Burke Lakefront Airport from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1.
The mission of the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron 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.
According to Lt. Cmdr. Nate Barton, Blue Angel number three, the Blue Angels normally fly in 65 shows in 35 different show sets. During the Cleveland Air show the Blue Angels had three performances due to the Labor Day weekend which is not typical for them.
"We're really excited to be here in Cleveland," Barton said. "The people are very welcoming and we love going to places that they are very happy to have us, so coming here is really special in that sense."
Barton stated that the hardest part of being a Blue Angel is being on the road for more than 300 days a year and the hardest part of being a Navy Pilot is also the time spent away from home.
"We all have families, hobbies and things that we like to do, so by committing to the team we are committing to sort of putting those things on hold for two or three years," Barton said. "I would never complain about that though. We love what we do, we love to be on the road and travel and have the honor of representing the Navy and the Marine Corps on a daily basis."
Barton also stated that the greatest part of being a Navy Pilot was serving his country.
"None of us had the dream of becoming a Blue Angel, all of us had the dream of supporting our country and representing the over half a million active duty Sailors and Marines on a daily basis and we are proud to do that," Barton said.
Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 1st Class Yvonne Dumas, Blue Angels Maintenance Control, a Columbus, Ohio, native, echoed Barton stating that the time away from home was the hardest part of their job.
According to Dumas it is also a lot of work to keep the aircraft running and safe with the high tempo schedule that the Blue Angels have.
"Our number one goal as far as maintenance is concerned is that those jets need to be safe for our pilots to go up and do their job," said Dumas.
Dumas went on to talk about the teamwork required to be a Blue Angel and the need to be a team player.
"It's not just about doing your job and your job only, it's also about getting out there and helping," Dumas said. "We all come together as a team if we have any type of problem or issues to work through it so we can put on a great show."
Though the Cleveland National Air Show is just one of many, the pride and professionalism of the Blue Angels never wavers. They give 100 percent for every show and proudly represent the Sailors and Marines selflessly serving our country throughout the world.
For more news from Navy Recruiting District Ohio, visit www.navy.mil/local/nrdo/.