Lt. Amanda Lee will join US Navy’s elite flight demonstration squadron for the 2023 season
Lt. Lee currently flies the F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter jet at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va. The Mounds View, Minn., native enlisted in the Navy in 2007 and was designated a Naval Aviator in 2016, according to a short profile on the US Navy’s Facebook page from 2019.
She will be one of 17 officers on the team, which includes tactical jet pilots, support officers and US Marine Corps C-130 pilots.
Prospective Navy pilots must submit an application and attend rush air shows in the spring. Sixteen tactical pilots applied this year, and two were selected.
Marine Maj. Katie Cook was the first female pilot to be part of the Blue Angels, which were established in 1946. She joined in 2015 and flew the KC-130 logistics aircraft. The squadron currently has 24 women serving in various roles, according to a spokeswoman.
“Women aviators are leading in positions all across the Navy and Marine Corps in the most critical roles we have,” Blue Angels spokeswoman Lt. Chelsea Dietlin said in an email.
Other new officers for 2023 include Lt. cmdr. Thomas Zimmerman, also a fighter pilot; Marine Capt. Samuel Petko, a C-130 pilot; Lt. cmdr. Brian Vaught, an events coordinator; Lt. cmdr. Greg Jones, a maintenance officer; and Lt. Philippe Warren, a flight surgeon, the Navy said.
The new team will train this fall with the current squad before beginning a longer training program over the winter at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, the Blue Angels’ home base, and Naval Air Facility El Centro in Southern California. The 2023 show schedule currently includes 33 stops around the US and Canada.
Write to Lauryn Azu at [email protected]
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