PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, finished out the 2015 season with the annual homecoming air show Nov. 6-7 at Naval Air Station Pensacola (NASP).
An estimated 80,000 spectators turned out for the two-day event despite intermittent overcast weather.
"Thanks to the concerted effort by the personnel of NAS Pensacola, the event was a complete success as we showed appreciation to the community for its continued support of the base and the Blue Angels," said NAS Public Affairs Officer Patrick Nichols.
Part of the show was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
Prior to the Blue Angels flight demonstration, NASP Commanding Officer Capt. Keith Hoskins, addressed recognized the many Vietnam veterans in attendance.
"I'd like to express a very special welcome to all Vietnam War veterans, their families and government and non-government employees who made contributions or served during this era," said Hoskins. "My command, NAS Pensacola, is a very proud member of the Vietnam Commemorative Partnership program whose mission is to assist our grateful nation in thanking and honoring our Vietnam veterans, the missing in action and unaccounted for, the fallen and their families."
Hoskins also invited the Vietnam veterans in attendance to stand. One by one veterans took to their feet and were greeted by the applause of other air show visitors.
Along with flying demonstrations, more than 50 military and civilian aircraft were on display. The static displays included a variety of aircraft ranging from present-day, state-of-the-art fighters to aircraft from the 1930s.
The homecoming show in Pensacola also marks the final event for several members of the Blue Angels, including Blue Angels Commanding Officer Capt. Thomas Frosch. Frosch joined the Blue Angels in November 2012. He has led the team through three different, three-month long training work-ups, where pilots completed 360 practice flights between 2012-2015. He also led the team in performing more that 130 air shows and flyovers in more than 70 locations throughout the United States. Frosch is scheduled to transfer from the Blue Angels to Naval Education Training Command, NAS Pensacola.
"We remain committed to selecting the most talented and qualified individuals to join the Blue Angels," said Frosch. "Once again, a significant number of extremely talented, experienced Sailors and Marines applied this year, and we are proud of the those we have chosen to join the 2015 team. They are excellent representatives of the skilled service members defending our freedom around the world."
Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi relieved Frosch as the Blue Angels commanding officer in a formal change of command ceremony Nov. 8 held at the National Naval Aviation Museum aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola.
Lt. Cmdr Mark Tedrow, Blue Angel No. 5, who is among the personnel leaving the Blue Angels at the end of the season, said he will miss flying with the team.
"There are going to be a lot of emotions for me after this last show," he said.
Tedrow said he is looking forward to watching future shows as a spectator from the crowd.
The Blue Angels take brief respite through December before heading to NAS El Centro, California, for winter training in preparation for the 2016 air show season.
For more news from Naval Air Station Pensacola, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/naspensacola/.