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The New Top Gun Named for the Blue Angels

PENSACOLA, FL (WKRG/CW55) — The Blue Angels announced their new commander for the 2018-2019 season Tuesday.

A selection panel comprised of ten admirals and former commanding officers selected Cmdr. Eric Doyle to succeed Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi. Doyle is no stranger to the Gulf Coast, having earned his commission through the Officer Candidate School in Pensacola.

According to the Blue Angels, applicants are required to have a minimum of 3,000 flight hours. They are also required to be in current command or have had past command of a tactical jet squadron.

Doyle, a native of League City, Texas joins the Blue Angels after serving as the Commanding Officer of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113. His previous assignments include six squadron tours, where he flew the F/A-18 Hornet and F-22A Raptor as an Operational Test Pilot. He has deployed in support of Operations Southern Watch, Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and Inherent Resolve.

Doyle attended Texas A&M University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1996. In addition to logging more than 3,000 hours in the air, Doyle has more than 600 carrier-arrested landings. His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Strike/Flight Air Medal (with combat V), Navy Commendation Medals (one with combat V), Navy Achievement Medal, as well as various campaign and unit awards.

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