PENSACOLA, Florida (NNS) -- U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, held the squadron's change of command ceremony at the National Naval Aviation Museum on Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola Nov. 8.
Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi relieved Capt. Tom Frosch as Blue Angels commanding officer/flight leader and spoke of his optimism for the future and pride in taking command of the prestigious squadron.
"It is an absolute honor to have the opportunity to lead the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron," said Bernacchi. "I am humbled to join such a talented group of dedicated professionals as we head into the team's 70th air show season."
Bernacchi joined the Blue Angels in September. Prior to his selection as the Blue Angels' commanding officer, he served as a federal executive fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Bernacchi's previous commands include Strike Fighter Squadron 125 (VFA-125), the "Rough Raiders," NAS Lemoore, California; VFA-113, the "Stingers," NAS Lemoore; U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), NAS Fallon, Nevada; (VFA-87), the "Golden Warriors," NAS Oceana, Virginia; VFA-81, the "Sunliners," NAS Oceana; Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group, Newport, Rhode Island; and VFA-192, the "World Famous Golden Dragons," NAS Lemoore.
Frosch joined the Blue Angels in September 2012. He led the team through three different, three-month long training work-ups, where pilots completed 360 practice flights between 2012-2015. He has also completed more than 130 air show performances in more than 70 locations throughout the U.S. Frosch is scheduled to transfer from the Blue Angels to Naval Education Training Command (NETC), NAS Pensacola.
"It has been such an honor and a privilege to be able to serve as the Blue Angels commanding officer and flight leader for one of my final military tours," said Frosch. "The people in this squadron are some of the most dedicated and hard-working Sailors with whom I have had the pleasure of serving. I will miss not only them, but also all the individuals that the team has had the opportunity to inspire in my time as a Blue Angel."
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. In 2016, the Blue Angels will celebrate their 70th anniversary. Since 1946, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 484 million fans.
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