The formation of a flight exhibition team was done in an effort to boost Navy morale, demonstrate naval air power, and maintain public interest in naval aviation. One underlying mission was to help the Navy generate public and political support for a larger allocation of the shrinking defense budget following World War II. The team has had several different aircraft since its inception and specialize in performing low-flying maneuvers in tight formations.
The squadron has not been without its share of incidents during its history and has unfortunately experienced several fatalities. The Blue Angels were also affected by defense budget cuts in 2013 that grounded many of their shows. However the following year the Pentagon decided to resume its military community outreach programs but reduced the number of events significantly.
In the first 73 years of the program, there have been 267 performance pilots and 37 Commanding Officers. Blue Angels demonstrations are practiced on almost a daily schedule due to the danger and skill that is involved with their flight performances. Topping speeds of 700 miles per hour and flying as close as 18 inches apart from another plane is an example of why these pilots train daily.
2019 marks the 73rd anniversary for the Blue Angels performing for over 600 million people, and while it is not possible to take a tour of the Blue Angels facilty the practices are viewable on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings depending on weather and performance schedules. The public can view practices at the National Museum of Naval Aviation at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola.