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Blue Angels make triumphant return to Ventura County

POINT MUGU- Calif. – The Blue Angels came roaring back Saturday to Naval
Base Ventura County, after a 16-year hiatus for the 2015 Point Mugu Air
Show, where the headlining act brought flawless aerobatic excitement to
an eager crowd of thousands.

While scheduled for two performances in Ventura County since their last
show in 1999, The Navy’s flight demonstration squadron was met with hard
luck on both occasions. In October 2005, foggy weather conditions kept
pilots on the ground, while a performance scheduled for September 2013
was axed as a result of broad federal spending reductions.

“We don’t anticipate that will ever happen again, as we think our
leadership has planned accordingly,” said Lt. Amber Lynn Daniel, the
Blue Angels’ public affairs officer and a native of nearby Ramona,
California.

An estimated 75,000 people turned out on the first day of the two-day
event, to gaze at displays of civilian and military hardware while
aerial demonstrations occurred throughout the day. Rousing aerobatics
from historic and contemporary airframes gave way to The Blue Angels at 3
p.m., who opened their act with a demonstration by Fat Albert, a C-130
Hercules piloted by its all-Marine Corps crew.

“We are out here to inspire excellence,” Daniel said. “That’s the Blue
Angels’ mission. We understand that not everybody can serve in the
military – but every American can pursue excellence … at whatever
they’re skilled at.”

Fat Albert captivated the audience as excitement built toward the Blue
Angels’ culminating act, in which six blue and gold F/A-18 Hornets took
to the skies for their first public performance above Ventura County in
more than a decade.

“I never seen anything fly like that before,” said 8-year-old Connor Walsh of neighboring Oxnard, California.

His parents, Ryan and Katie Walsh, couldn’t resist the urge to introduce
Connor and his sister, Mollie, to their local naval base.

“I think it’s kind of a nice way to get people in to see what they’re
doing with the base and let civilians mingle with some of the military
guys,” said Mr. Walsh.

“Yes, I was just saying as we were coming in that we’ve lived here for
eight years and I’ve never been this far onto the base,” said Mrs.
Walsh. “It really opens [the children’s] eyes to what’s here right in
their own neighborhood.”

Until this weekend, families from the local area who recently wished to
see a performance by the Navy’s world-famous aviators have had to travel
as far as Miramar or El Centro, California, both more than 200 miles
away from Naval Base Ventura County.

“We are really, really excited to be back in Ventura,” said Daniel.

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