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As Hoskins retires, former Blue Angel looks back on career

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In a traditional
change of command ceremony, Navy Capt. Chris Martin will assume command
of one of the nation’s premier air bases Thursday. Concurrently, the
Navy will also say goodbye to one of its most beloved and accomplished
officers, Capt. Keith Hoskins.
Hoskins has served as the
commanding officer of Naval Air Station Pensacola since 2013. His career
has been marked with numerous accomplishments and firsts, holding the
recognition as the first African-American and first former Blue Angel to
command the base known as “The Cradle of Naval Aviation.”
The
career naval aviator retires today in a formal ceremony at the National
Naval Aviation Museum aboard the naval base. As Hoskins says farewell to
active duty, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the naval
aviator’s most memorable moments during his career in a video produced
by the Blue Angels Association:

A native of
Parkville, Mo., Hoskins joined the Navy after graduating from Missouri
Western State University in 1989. After deploying aboard the U.S.S.
America and flying combat operations in Operations Decisive Edge and
Southern Watch, Hoskins served with the Blue Angels, acting as the
narrator, opposing solo, and lead solo pilot from 1999-2001.
Returning
to the fleet, Hoskins completed an extended deployment flying combat
missions in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Southern Watch, and
Iraqi Freedom.
After serving as the national director of NROTC
programs, Hoskins took command of NAS Pensacola in 2013. During his
career, Hoskins accumulated more than 3,400 flight hours and 570
arrested landings. His personal decorations include the Defense
Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Air
Medal (three awards with combat “V”), Navy Commendation Medal (three
awards with combat “V”), Navy Achievement Medal (two awards), and
numerous unit commendations and awards.

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