JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Citing "budget realities," the U.S. Navy on Tuesday cancelled the remaining scheduled performances for the Blue Angels for the rest of the year.
That decision will take the Navy's renowned Flight Demonstration Squadron out of the NAS Jacksonville air show set for Oct. 26-27.
The cuts were blamed on sequestration cuts, but the Navy added it intended to continue aerial demonstrations in the future "as the budget situation permits."
While the shows are on hiatus, the six elite pilots on the team would maintain only minimum flight hours to remain qualified in their F/A 18 Super Hornets and that squadron practices would end for the remainder of the season.
"Current defense policy states that outreach events can only be supported with local assets at no cost to the government," said a release from the U.S. Navy commander of Naval Air Forces. "This is one of many steps the Navy is taking to ensure resources are in place to support forces operating forward now and those training to relieve them."
Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday released the following statement about the cancellation:
"The cancellation of the 2013 Blue Angels Air Show is a major blow to families and jobs in Pensacola and the nation. Families come from everywhere to enjoy the show and watch America's military might on display. These visitors fill area hotels, they eat at our restaurants and enjoy our beaches. The President missed a real opportunity to lead and help Florida families get back to work by making government more efficient and reducing spending in ways that make sense. In Florida, we continue to work to grow jobs for Florida families. Just last week, I was proud to be in Pensacola to announce that Navy Federal Credit Union will create more than 1,500 jobs for families in Northwest Florida – our largest economic announcement to date. In Florida, our plan to grow the economy is working, and we encourage Washington to follow our lead."
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