Hundreds of people had their eyes to the skies Wednesday afternoon as the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flew together over Pensacola Beach.
The elite fighter jet demonstration teams made several passes over the beach while flying in formations and trailing smoke.
Amateur photographer and beach resident Angie Shehee waited more than hour for a chance to capture both teams in the sky at the same time.
“This is cool stuff,” she said. “I’ve seen the Thunderbirds, and I’ve seen the Blue Angels, but I haven’t seen them together.”
The two teams are seldom in the same place at the same time. Under Department of Defense regulations, they are not allowed to perform at the same air shows. Because both teams are tools for military recruitment, Pentagon leaders want them to have as wide of a geographical reach as possible by going to different shows.
The Thunberbirds, based at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, joined the Pensacola-based Blue Angels for three days of joint training on Monday. The Thunderbirds contingent of 60 airmen included the pilots and the support staff. The airmen joined the 100 sailors and Marines from the Blue Angels at Pensacola Naval Air Station.
Josh Fur and his two young sons splashed in the waves Wednesday afternoon while his wife and infant daughter played on the sand. The Kentucky family was vacationing in the area and did not expected to see the jets flying past in formation.
“This is an unexpected treat,” Fur said, as the kids pointed to the sky in excitement. “We had no idea we’d get to see this.”