Friday, July 13, 2012

Blue Angels Announce 2013 Team Members

PENSACOLA, Fla. (NNS) -- The Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, announced the officers selected for the 2013 team, July 13.

The squadron selected two F/A-18 Hornet pilots, a C-130 pilot, an events coordinator and a flight surgeon to join the 2013 team. A maintenance officer and a C-130 pilot have been pre-selected for the 2014 team. The Blue Angels announced the 2013 commanding officer, Cmdr. Thomas Frosch, in April.

"The competition is extremely tough," said Lt. David Tickle, the Blue Angels opposing solo pilot and applicants officer. "It's a thorough process designed to ensure the team has the best officers to represent the Navy and Marine Corps."

More than 40 highly-qualified Navy and Marine Corps officers submit applications to join the Blue Angels each year, Tickle explained. During the beginning of the team's show season, March-June, applicants attended air shows to learn about the dynamics of the team.
The Blue Angels then selected finalists to interview at the Blue Angels home base on Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Fla., during the week of the Pensacola Beach Air Show before making selections.

The 2013 team members include:
F/A-18 Demonstration Pilots:
- Navy Lt. Nathan Barton, 32, of Hummelstown, Penn., is currently assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) at NAS Whidbey Island, Wash. He is a 2002 graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

- Navy Lt. Ryan Chamberlain, 27, of Bloomington, Ill., is currently assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14) at NAS Lemoore, Calif. He is a 2003 graduate of Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Events Coordinator:
- Navy Lt. Cmdr. Michael Cheng, 38, of San Francisco, is currently assigned to Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) at Point Mugu, Calif. He is a 1996 graduate of the University of California, Irvine.

C-130 Pilot:
- Marine Capt. Michael Van Wyk, 30, of Orland Park, Ill., is currently assigned to Marine Aviation Training Support Group 21, NAS Pensacola, Fla. He is a 2003 graduate of Trinity Christian College. Van Wyk was pre-selected to join the 2013 team in 2011.

Flight Surgeon:
- Navy Lt. Cmdr. Mark DeBuse, 38, of Longmont, Colo., is currently assigned to Carrier Air Wing 9 (CVW-9) at NAS North Island, Calif. He is a 1996 graduate of the United States Naval Academy and a 2009 graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine.
Expected to return for the 2013 season are:

F/A-18 Demonstration Pilots:
- Navy Lt. John Hiltz, 32, of Fort Mitchell, Ky.
Marine Capt. Brandon Cordill, 32, of Hemet, Calif.
Navy Lt. David Tickle, 31, of Birmingham, Ala.
Navy Lt. Mark Tedrow, 30, of Charleroi, Penn.

C-130 Pilots:
- Marine Capt. John Hecker, 39, of New Orleans.
- Marine Capt. A.J. Harrell, 32, of Frederick, Md.

Administrative Officer:
- Navy Lt. Holly Taylor, 37, of Simsboro, La.

Supply Officer:
- Navy Lt. Scott Adams, 29, of Omaha, Neb.

Public Affairs Officer:
- Navy Lt. Katie Kelly, 30, of Elgin, Ill.

Pre-selected to join the 2014 team are:
Maintenance Officer:
- Navy Lt. Cmdr. Declan Hartney, 42, of Limerick, Ireland, is currently assigned to Naval Special Warfare Support Activity 1 at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado, Calif.

C-130 Pilot:
- Marine Capt. Dusty Cook, 31, of East Bernard, Texas, is currently assigned to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 (VMGR-252) at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. He is a 2003 graduate of Texas A&M University.

The mission of the Blue Angels is to enhance Navy recruiting and credibly represent Navy and Marine Corps aviation to the United States and its Armed Forces to America, and other countries as international ambassadors of good will.

During the 2011 season, more than 11 million spectators watched the Blue Angels perform. Since its inception in 1946, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 484 million fans.