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The City of Pensacola and the Blue Angels Association have partnered to commemorate the U.S. Navy Blue Angels’ 70th anniversary year milestone with a welcome event on March 21.

The Blue Angels will return to their home base at Naval Air Station Pensacola this month after a rigorous 10-week winter training program at El Centro, California.

The welcome event will begin with a flyover of downtown Pensacola, followed by a proclamation ceremony with local and military officials, dignitaries, and hundreds of visitors at the Blue Angels atrium in the National Naval Aviation Museum aboard NAS Pensacola.

“We are proud to be called the Cradle of Naval Aviation and honored to be the home of the Blue Angels,” said Pensacola mayor Ashton Hayward. “Pensacolians love their Blue Angels and we are confident that they will continue to inspire and make us proud while extending into their 70th season.”

NAS Pensacola has trained thousands of naval aviators in the last century and has been home to the Blue Angels since 1955. The area continues to lead the way in naval aviation.

“Pensacola is a special place not only to the Blue Angels, but also for all naval aviators,” said Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi, flight leader and commanding officer of the Blue Angels. “The incredible support from our community continues to be invaluable to our ability to achieve our mission of inspiring future generations, and also to be better Sailors and Marines every year.”

“Whether it’s the college student who is a future flag officer, the 40-year-old who is still seeking his true calling, or the 12-year-old aspiring to be something great, the Blue Angels are here to inspire,” said David Anderson, a former Blue Angels pilot and the president of the Blue Angels Association. “They have motivated generations of people throughout the world and are truly an American treasure.”

The mission of the Blue Angels is to showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach. In 2016, the Blue Angels will celebrate their 70th anniversary. Since 1946, the Blue Angels have performed for more than 484 million fans.

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