Home » Blue Angels Schedule » Blue Angels flight surgeon doubles as team’s unofficial photographer
Blue Angels Schedule

Blue Angels flight surgeon doubles as team’s unofficial photographer

Blue Angels Flight Surgeon, Juan Guerra, shows off one of his favorite photos he has taken as a member of the team on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. Besides providing medical services to squadron members, Guerra has built a large following promoting the Blues on social media.

For the last two years, Dr. Juan Guerra has tended to the medical needs of a special group of patients: the U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

Thousands of Twitter and Instagram followers have joined Lt. Cmdr. Guerra on his amazing journey, which will end Saturday after the annual Homecoming Air Show at Naval Air Station Pensacola.

Guerra, an Ocala native, became interested in photography as child and continued the hobby through medical school. When he was selected as flight surgeon for the Blue Angels, he asked the public affairs staff if he could share photographs from his travels with the elite flight demonstration squadron.

“It is something that has sort of evolved,” he said of the fan following developed through his hundreds of posts.

More: ‘We are in the shadow of giants’: Blue Angels pilot ready for Homecoming Air Show

Lt. Cmdr. David Gardner, the team’s public affairs officer, said Guerra has offered a behind-the-scenes perspective of the Blue Angels’ season. The doctor has also drawn a different audience to the team, including followers who are interested in medicine.

“His photos are beautiful, he has a critical eye and he tells the story from a slightly different perspective,” said Gardner, who added that Guerra is also a good doctor.

“I go to him if I’m sick,” Gardner said with a laugh.

From a July 5 image of a lightning strike over Traverse City, Michigan, with an explanation about how weather can change the show schedule, to an Aug. 16 video of a Blue Angels jet being refueled midair en route from Pensacola to North Dakota, each of Gardner’s images and tweets tells an interesting story.

The most emotional was a recent Instagram post showing the devastation Hurricane Michael brought to the eastern Panhandle.

More: U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly over areas of eastern Panhandle devastated by Hurricane Michael

“The Blue Angels Delta passes over hurricane-ravaged Mexico Beach in a show of support for the Gulf Coast communities affected by recent natural disasters. The Blue Angels were returning to NAS Pensacola after completing an airshow in Jacksonville,” he wrote.

Many of Guerra’s images feature birds, butterflies, lizards and other animals he has encountered on his travels.

“I think photography as a hobby that suits itself well to a life on the road,” he said.

As flight surgeon, Guerra is also tasked with watching each practice and demonstration flight. He estimates he has watched more than 1,500 hours of Blue Angels flights in the last two years.

He is in constant radio communication with other officers and emergency crews on the ground. Because he watches the flights so closely, he is also charged with grading each demonstration.

He keeps detailed notes on how each maneuver looks from the ground and offers his perspective in debriefings.

“It is all part of trying to make the demonstrations safer and more aesthetically pleasing,” he said.

More: News Journal photographer Gregg Pachkowski gets different angle of Blue Angels

And Guerra said the work has improved his photography of the jets because he has such a thorough understanding of all of the maneuvers.

But he said his favorite shots of the blue and gold F-18 Hornets haven’t been from air shows; they are ones he has taken of the team flying over Pensacola Beach at sunset on Saturday afternoons.

“That is what I will miss the most,” he said. “That is such a unique Pensacola experience.”

Guerra isn’t leaving Pensacola anytime soon though. He will be in the area for at least another year working as flight surgeon on the base.

%d bloggers like this: