PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The United States Navy has announced their 2023 Blue Angels officers, including their first-ever female demonstration pilot.
Six new officers will join the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron team for the 2023 air show. Among the six officers:
- two are F/A-18E/F Super Hornet pilots
- one is an event coordinator
- one is a C-130J Super Hercules pilot
- one is an aviation maintenance officer
- one is a flight surgeon
Included in this list is the Blue Angel’s first female F/A-18E/F demonstration pilot. Commanding officer and flight leader of the Blue Angels, Captain Brian Kesselring said, “We had an overwhelming number of applicants from all over the globe this year. We look forward to training our fantastic new team members, passing on the torch, and watching the incredible things this team will accomplish in 2023.”
Here is a list of all six officers:
- Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Zimmerman, of Baltimore, MD., is currently assigned to the “Red Rippers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2009.
- Lt. Amanda Lee, of Mounds View, Minn., is currently assigned to the “Gladiators” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106. She graduated from Old Dominion University in 2013.
- Lt. Cmdr. Brian Vaught, of Englewood, Col., is a naval flight officer currently assigned to the Naval School of Aviation Safety. He graduated from the University of Colorado in 2008.
- Marine Corps Capt. Samuel Petko, of Osceola, Ind., is a KC-130J Hercules pilot currently assigned to the “Sumos” of Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 152. He graduated from Indiana University in 2014.
- Lt. Cmdr. Greg Jones, of Cary, N.C., is an aviation maintenance officer currently assigned to Pre-Commissioning Unit John F. Kennedy (CVN 79). He graduated from Elon University in 2008.
- Lt. Phillippe Warren, of Williamsburg, Va. is a flight surgeon currently assigned to the “Fighting Griffins” of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VNM) 266. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 2014.
The new officers will start their training in September and have a two month turnover period.