UPDATE: From the U.S. Naval Academy Public Affairs office: The Blue Angels will not be able to perform in Annapolis May 26-27, 2012 due to a previously scheduled commitment that is not affiliated with Fleet Week New York . However, the Naval Academy has inquired about the availability of the Blue Angels performing some time during the week of May 21-25, 2012 – the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend – the customary USNA performance timeframe. When more information is available about this and other Commissioning Week 2012 events, USNA will make announcement.
One of the greatest aspects of living in Annapolis is the annual air show by the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron–the Blue Angels. Each May, just before Memorial Day, they fly into town to celebrate and congratulate the latest graduating class of midshipmen who will be entering service to our country. They typically offer two shows over the beautiful Severn River which has been delivering thrills to young and old alike for decades–excepting the occasional bout of bad weather.
In 2012, the United States Naval Academy has made the decision to push Commissioning Week back. But with that, comes an unintended consequence. It appears that this move will jeopardize the Blue Angel’s appearance in Annapolis.
According to the Monthly Manager’s Report to City Council, (page 37 of 91) it appears that the Blue Angels will be grounded in 2012 and beyond.
It now appears likely there may be no Blue Angels Air Show in Annapolis in 2012. The FAA, Coast Guard, State Highway Administration and other Public Safety Agencies can not support the Memorial Day Weekend schedule as had been desired by the Previous Naval Academy Superintendent. Unofficial back channel information is that the Blue Angels have accepted an invitation to perform at Fleet Week in New York City on the Tuesday/Wednesday before Memorial Day. There are strong efforts underweigh [sic] within the Navy, the Naval Academy Alumnae Association and local business and political leaders to restore the old schedule.
The decision to move Commissioning Week back was made by Vice Admiral Jeffrey Fowler, former Superintendent of the US Naval Academy. Fowler’s tenure was not without controversy. He made the decision to not allow grease/lard on the Herndon Monument Climb (a rite of passage for Mids) and had his tenure cut short due to the discovery of a substantial “slush fund” for lavish entertainment including tailgate parties, and dinners at his home featuring $1000 of wine. The fund was primarily funded by donations (some restricted) to the US Naval Academy Alumni Association and the US Naval Academy Foundation. The elimination of the Blue Angels seems like another unintended consequence of Fowler’s tenure as Supe.
The 2011 show will go on as planned.