Petty Officer Hunter Wollaston served two tours on the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and a stint at Jacksonville Naval Air Station before getting the call to join the U.S. Navy Blue Angels — his dream job.
“It was awesome when I got that call,” Wollaston, 24, said Thursday during an interview at Pensacola Naval Air Station.
The Austin, Texas, native is part of a team that maintains and inspects the six blue and gold F/A-18 fighter jets flown by the Blue Angel pilots during demonstration shows nationwide.
It is a demanding job.
“We fly a lot and there are a lot of shows,” he said.
But Wollaston said he loves the work, especially the public outreach aspect. He is among members of the team who visit local elementary schools at various show sites.
“Sometimes these kids know as much about the jets as we do. It’s really cool,” he said.
Wollaston, who joined the Blue Angels this year, said he is looking forward to the Pensacola Beach Air Show.
“I hear that this one is one that everyone wants to be part of,” he said.
Wollaston’s father and sister are in town from Texas to see the show. His wife also plans to watch the show from the beach.
Wollaston will serve three years with the team before returning to regular duties in the Navy’s fleet.
In the meantime, he said he plans to make the most of his Blue Angels experience.
“This is something I never dreamed I would be doing,” he said.