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Blue Angels prepare to land in St. Joseph

The U.S. Navy’s premier flight demonstration team — the Blue Angels — will return to St. Joseph for the Sound of Speed Airshow.

But long before the Aug. 25 and 26 show days, this week, two team pilots, in fact, are visiting St. Joseph.

“They’ll arrive Thursday afternoon for a winter visit,” said Abe Forney, the city’s airport manager. “It’s something they do at every spot where they will be performing their summer show.”

Two pilots will fly twin engine F-18 Hornets to Rosecrans Memorial Airport and the 139th Airlift Wing for an overnight stay. The two pilots will be checking out the runway and all the 139th’s plans for this summer’s Sound of Speed Airshow.

The team is really big on removing foreign object debris, or FOD, which is any object or substance with the potential to cause damage to an aircraft, Forney said. The pilots want to ensure there will be no foreign object damage, he said.

The two will stay overnight and familiarize themselves with St. Joseph accommodations, a gym and other amenities, too.

The Blue Angels were created in 1946 to showcase Navy and Marine Corps pride and professionalism by “inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach.”