PENSACOLA, Fla. – The Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, The Blue Angels, announced the officers selected for the 2008 team.
The squadron selected three F/A-18 Hornet pilots, a C-130 pilot, a maintenance officer, a public affairs officer and a supply officer to join the team in September.
“Nearly 55 highly qualified officers applied for these jobs, so the competition was extremely tough,” said Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Walley, the squadron’s applications officer for this season. “We spent many hours deliberating in this very difficult but very fair process, because each selectee had to receive unanimous approval.”
Chosen for next year’s team were:
F/A-18 Hornet Pilots:
Navy Lt. Paul S. Brantuas, 34, currently assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 125 at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif. He is a 1997 graduate of San Diego State University.
Navy Lt. Mark A. Swinger, 29, currently assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 106 at Naval Air Station Oceana, Va. He is a 2000 graduate of the University of Delaware.
Navy Lt. Frank J. Weisser, III, 29, currently assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 87 at Naval Air Station Oceana, Va. He is a 2000 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy.
C-130 Aircraft Commander:
Marine Capt. Brendan C. Burks, 33, currently assigned to Expeditionary Warfare School in Quantico, Va. He is a 1998 graduate of Auburn University.
Navy Lt. Manuel Sanchez, 38, currently assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 27 in Atsugi, Japan. He is a 17-year Navy veteran with more than ten years of prior enlisted service.
Public Affairs Officer:
Marine Capt. Tyson W. Dunkelberger, 29, currently assigned to Marine Aviation Training Support Group 21 in Pensacola. He is a 2000 graduate of Frostburg State University.
Navy Lt. (Junior Grade) Anthony Robinson, 38, currently assigned to Commander, Naval Air Forces Supply North Island in San Diego, Calif. He is also a 17-year Navy veteran with more than 10 years of prior enlisted service.
These seven officers will be joining nine members of the 2007 team. Expected to return for 2008 are:
F/A-18 Demonstration Pilots:
Commanding Officer and Flight Leader, Navy Cmdr. Kevin Mannix, 44, of Lindenhurst, NY. Marine Maj.. Clint C. Harris, 34, of Senath, Mo.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Craig R. Olson, 37, of Kirkland, Wash. Marine Maj. Nathan M. Miller, 33, of Lapeer, Mich.
Navy Lt. Daniel E. McShane, III, 37, of Charlotte, NC.
C-130 Aircraft Commanders:
Marine Maj. D. Russ Campbell, 33, of Houston, TX.
Marine Maj. Drew R. Hess, 33, of Rockford, Ill.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Mark E. Lambert, 33, of Richmond, Va.
Navy Lt. Gretchen E. Doane, 40, of Tavares, Fla.
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