Blue Angels Cancel Season

The Navy's Blue Angels demonstration team has canceled the rest of its 2013 season in response to budget cuts.


Blue-Angels-Fleet-Week

The Navy’s Blue Angels demonstration team has canceled the rest of its 2013 season in response to budget cuts.

AP (“Blue Angels cancel air shows over budget cuts“):

The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels says the rest of its season is canceled because of federal budget cuts.

The aerobatic team’s lead pilot and team commander Tom Frosch made the announcement Tuesday at the team’s headquarters. He says it is the first time since the Korean War that the team would not make the air show rounds.

The Defense Department is facing rather substantial cuts, at least in the Washington sense of getting a smaller increase than they’d hoped for. Certainly, spending that doesn’t contribute one lick to the national defense ought to be first on the list. Demonstration teams, bands, and other public facing programs that contribute tangentially to recruiting but have no bearing on either killing the enemy or sustaining those who do are an obvious choice. The Blue Angels alone cost us $35 million a year. A drop in the bucket, to be sure, but still a lot of money.

There are, naturally, second order effects:

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the cancellation means the team won’t be flying over San Francisco during this fall’s Fleet Week, and the future of the city’s annual Fleet Week could be in doubt with the air show canceled.

Certainly, the Republic shall endure. It makes no sense to spend $35 million a year to make local air shows attractive events. Fleet Week isn’t until October, so there may be time to find a Plan B (they used Canada’s Snowbird team back in 2004). But lesser-known events that are closer to launch may be scuttled, costing localities and organizers their sunk costs.

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs, Quick Takes
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Tsar Nicholas says:

    My head actually started spinning around like Linda Blair when I read that cited S.F. Chronicle article, in which they concerned trolled about the Blue Angels and Fleet Week. Staggering irony. Layers of irony.

    Speaking of which, as we watch the liberal media and the Dem politico apparatus (BIRM) in high dudgeon mode over these tiny “cuts” to non-essential programs it really hits home that there’s no realistic chance to wean Zombieland off of expecting Uncle Sugar’s largesse. Thus no realistic chance of avoiding PIIGS-style fiscal and economic calamities. Imagine the gnashing of teeth and demagoguery if we tried actually to cut this profligate federal spending with which we’re saddled. Yikes.

  2. Mikey says:

    Certainly, the Republic shall endure. It makes no sense to spend $35 million a year to make local air shows attractive events.

    Perhaps, but the aerial demonstration teams are more than just that, they are also recruiting tools.

    I’d suspect the DoD would have found other places to cut, were the recruiting climate not as good as it is. But with all four branches are meeting their recruiting goals 100%, the loss of the Blue Angels probably won’t make a lot of difference.

  3. C. Clavin says:

    Yeah…we can do without…but given the choice this is really about…between Blue Angels or tax breaks for the rich? I’d prefer to close some loopholes and keep these programs.
    This IS NOT about spending. Dont believe the liars who claim it is. It’s all about protecting the income of the rich…who are already paying historically low rates.

  4. Dave Schuler says:

    The portion of the demonstration team’s budget isn’t even a rounding error in the amount that needs to be trimmed due to the sequester. It could probably be cut from the Pentagon’s office supplies budget and not even noticed. But that’s the point—it wouldn’t be noticed.

    Note that they’re going to maintain their training program (most of the expense of the program) but eliminate the visible part of the program. They’re also going to close the training to spectators to make sure that isn’t visible, either.

    They’re starting to persuade me that the sequester is a good idea. If the Pentagon were a division of a major company, I think this would signal it’s time to send in external auditors.

  5. JKB says:

    spending that doesn’t contribute one lick to the national defense ought to be first on the list.

    The San Francisco air show is part of a hearts and minds campaign flow over territory controlled by those hostile to the republic.

    But I suppose with the repeal if DADT, the Castro district will be swamped with returning gay soldiers and sailors who can carry the flag.

    But I suppose Fleet Weeks should be cancelled since they to are not for national defense either. Plus, nothing turns the attitude of a community derisive of military members around like a deployment that pulls the cash cow out of the local economy. I remember the loud wail that arose when the Marines at Kaneohe MCAS deployed for Iraq I.

  6. C. Clavin says:

    Funny…
    Republicans did everything they could to undermine our Nat’l Defense…from allowing 9.11 on their watch…to blundering into a war of choice that stretched the military far too thin…to outing a covert operative.
    But JKB is still spouting the Dems are weak on Defense meme.
    Some people are just incapable of learning.
    Refer to the Dunning-Kruger effect for more on this.

  7. C. Clavin says:

    “…territory controlled by those hostile to the republic…”

    I’m sorry…that is just an ASININE comment.

  8. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB:

    Dumb-ass: San Francisco invites the Blue Angels. How does that make them hostile?

  9. Mike says:

    I wonder what will happen to the All American Bowl held in San Antonio each year. Probably a $10-15 million dollar endeavor when you add in all the advertising, regional combines, travel costs, renting the stadium. Made a lot of sense when there was a shortage of recruits but w/ the cuts and the bleak jobs market for younger folks, recruiting isn’t a big issue right now.

  10. Mikey says:

    @Dave Schuler:

    It could probably be cut from the Pentagon’s office supplies budget and not even noticed. But that’s the point—it wouldn’t be noticed.

    I think it’s pretty obvious by now that the administration is grasping desperately for the noticeable. Playing up the sequester to make it seem like the worst thing since the Mongols swept across Kievan Russia probably wasn’t the best strategy.

  11. anjin-san says:

    @JKB

    The San Francisco air show is part of a hearts and minds campaign flow over territory controlled by those hostile to the republic.

    Do you ever get out of Pig’s Knuckle”?

    My Uncle lives in Berkeley. He is an ex-Marine, fought at Frozen Chosin, among other places. What have you done for your country? (PS running your mouth on a blog does not count)

  12. wr says:

    @JKB: “The San Francisco air show is part of a hearts and minds campaign flow over territory controlled by those hostile to the republic. ”

    This from a man who believes we need to have guns so we can murder federal employees if they get uppity. Sure, San Francisco is “hostile to the republic” — patriot JKB just wants to be able to commit murder and treason if he feels tax rates are too high on billionaires.