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Blue Angels Boss Frosch stepping down

U.S.
Navy flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, Commanding Officer
and Flight Leader Cmdr. Tom Frosch speaks with local media on Nov. 8,
2013, at the grand opening of the National Naval Aviation Museum’s new
Blue Angels 4D Theater.

Navy Capt. Thomas Frosch, Boss of the Blues since 2012, takes his
last ride with awe-inspiring Blue Angels on Saturday. Next year, he’ll
be on the sidelines, sitting at a desk. And he’ll have to see and hear
his beloved Blues flying without him. Because Frosch, commanding officer
of the famed Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron based at Pensacola
Naval Air Station, will be just down the road.
Frosch will join the Naval Aviation Training Command aboard NAS after the season ends Saturday.
“I’ll
be right down the street,” Frosch said Thursday during interviews
preceding Friday and Saturday’s season-ending homecoming show at NAS.
Afterward, Frosch will hand over command of the elite squadron to Navy
Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi of Mountain View, California, for the 2016 season,
the 70th anniversary of the Blue Angels.
While most Blue Angel
officers and enlisted transfer to different bases after their Blue
Angels’ tenure ends, Frosch will hear the roar almost daily. But he said
it won’t be a problem for him watching from below.
“You know, I’m
excited to turn over command to the next generation,” Frosch said,
standing in front of his No. 1 Blue Angel F/A 18 jet. “It’s been a
privilege. But you want to share that experience with as many people as
you can. We represent thousands of service members around the world, and
this is an opportunity for someone else to have that experience.”
He said retirement “is in the future, but I’ll figure that out later.”
Frosch took the helm of the Blue Angels in 2012. In 2013, most of the Blue Angels’ season was canceled because of budget cuts.
“Boss”
— all Blue Angels commanding officers are referred to as “Boss” – said
it was tough for a team that values constant practice and improvement.
“You
learn so much in a season, so it was difficult,” he said. “But we
channeled our efforts into the local community and outreach programs.
The Blues visited schools, participated in parades, and helped various
non-profit organizations during its lost season.
“We were
rebuilding last year and this year,” he said. “We’ve gotten back to the
point where we are even better. We’re always trying to improve.”
Frosch, married with three children, said his children are a little bummed that Dad won’t be the big man in blue anymore.
“I
think they’re certainly a little sad, but they’re glad they’re going to
have their Dad home,” he said. “I’ve been gone quite a bit and they’ll
enjoy having me around a bit more. It’s bittersweet because (the
weekend shows) mark the end of a great season and the last time I’ll fly
in the blue jet and perform for all these people. It’s all about
inspiring people, and I don’t take that lightly.”
While Frosch
doesn’t know what the far future holds, he is pretty sure about the near
future – especially concerning the Dec. 12 Army-Navy football team.
While at the U.S. Naval Academy, Frosch was a punter for the football team.
“It’s
going to be bad for Army again,” he said. “It’s something I’m proud to
watch year after year. We’ll just ride it while it lasts.”
Navy has beaten Army 13 consecutive times since 2002.
“It never gets old.”

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