A League City native and Texas A&M graduate will be the next commander of the Blue Angles, the U.S. Navy’s famed flight demonstration team.
The selection of Commander Eric Doyle to lead the squadron was announced this week in Pensacola, Fla., their home base. The official change-of-command ceremony is set for Nov. 12, 2017 at the conclusion of this year’s show season, Navy officials said.
He was selected for the position by a panel of 10 admirals and former Blue Angels commanders.
“This was a childhood dream come true. My motivation to become a pilot came from the Blue Angels,” Doyle said in a statement.
He graduated from Texas A&M in 1996 and was commissioned through Officer Candidate School. He has more than 3,000 flight hours on his record and has landed jets on aircraft carriers 600 times during his Navy career.
Doyle will be flight leader during air shows for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He also will command 130 personnel – including the other aviators in the Blue Angels.
The Blue Angels typically perform for 11 million people throughout a season. They are scheduled in 2018 to perform 61 shows in 33 locations , Navy officials said.
Commanders of the Blue Angels are required to have previously led a tactical jet squadron. Doyle is currently commander of VFA-113, a unit at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California that flies the F/A-18E Hornet, Navy officials said.
Doyle has flown multiple combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, officials said.