By Rear Adm. Rick Williams, Commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific
Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz led the United States military to victory in the Pacific in World War II. At the end of the war, seeing the importance of aviation in the Navy’s future, he called for the formation of a flight
demonstration team to inform and do outreach with the American public.
The Blue Angels team was born a year later, 1946. We can only imagine what Adm. Nimitz would say today if he could see the powerful blue-and-gold F/A-18 Hornets and the impressive Navy-Marine Corps team, representing the best in naval aviation.
At this weekend’s “Wings Over the Pacific” air show, we are fortunate to host not only the world-famous
Blue Angels pilots and “Leapfrogs” parachute team but also the Air Combat Command F-22 Demonstration
Team and Pacific Air Force C-17 Globemaster.
There will be civilian participants and plenty of static displays, including many U.S. Army aircraft, at the
air show, too, with participation from all services.
I hope to see you out at the joint base flight line, where we will help “The Blues” meet their mission of
showcasing “the pride and professionalism of our Navy and Marine Corps team by inspiring a culture of excellence and service…”
When Adm. Nimitz called for the formation of a flight demonstration team, the U.S. Air Force as we know it
had not yet been created. But Nimitz had seen the power of integrated air-sea operations in his victories at the Battle of Midway and across the Pacific.
Today, in recognition of the air-sea battle concept, we understand the need to integrate our communication and operations and work jointly. That’s why it’s extremely satisfying to conduct the “Wings Over the Pacific” air show with our Air Force, Marine Corps and Army brothers and sisters and for all of us to share the air show with tens of thousands of visitors this weekend at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
This is a demonstration of the world’s most impressive tactical fighter jets and pilots, a showcase of what our military and aviation industry team is capable of. The Blue Angels pilots conduct maneuvers and demonstrate skills that translate to exceptional warfighting capabilities unmatched in the world’s skies.
Remember, these pilots go back to the fleet and mentor others with their advanced skills.
A special word of thanks to Blues CO, Capt. Tom Frosch, and all of the other pilots and support personnel here this weekend to provide this show. Being a member of the Blue Angels and other demonstration teams is not without risk and is certainly a commitment of time away from family in support of our military and our country.
We thank you all for sharing your time and talents with us. Also, a big thank you to everyone at joint base who has been working hard to set up this great event and ensure its safety and security.
For the many people working this weekend, and especially for the volunteers, we appreciate your contributions.
Finally, I join Capt. Keeve, joint base commander; Col. “Bull” Kirkendall, deputy joint base commander; and Maj. Kelly Church, air show director, in expressing appreciation for the local community’s support as we present this air show here in Hawaii.
On Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting, our military will demonstrate excellence and show our pride and professionalism. See you there!