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Blue Angels out of air show

Federal budget cuts ground Navy team at Hillsboro air show


The Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy’s aerobatic flight team, will not be performing at the Oregon International Air Show in Hillsboro this summer due to sequestration budget cuts.

Herb Gillen, a spokesperson for the popular air show, said Tuesday the Blue Angels contacted air show officials on Monday night to confirm the Navy team would be withdrawing from the July event.

The Blue Angels subsequently issued a press release in which the team stated that all remaining 2013 performances had been canceled.

“Recognizing budget realities, current (Department of) Defense policy states that outreach events can only be supported with local assets at no cost to the government,” read an excerpt of the statement from the Blue Angels.

“We’re obviously disappointed, but the show will go on,” said Gillen.

The Blue Angels will be replaced as headliners by the Patriots Jet Team, a civilian team made up of former members of the Blue Angels, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and the Canadian Snowbirds. The team flies slightly smaller jets than the Blue Angels, Gillen said, but perform the same kinds of stunts. The Patriots Jet Team performed at the air show in Hillsboro three years ago.

In February, Oregon International Air Show President Judy Willey told the Hillsboro Tribune the Blue Angels could be forced to cancel their appearance due to federal budget cuts.

According to Gillen, the air show is in contact with other potential performers and military museums to increase the number of attractions for spectators, including static displays of older military aircraft.

The Oregon International Air Show will take place July 26-28 at the Hillsboro Airport.

— KOIN Local 6 staff

Jim Redden contributed to this story.




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