NAS Pensacola

Update 10/4/16 10am:

Hurricane Matthew has made landfall in western Haiti with maximum sustained winds near 145 miles an hour. The Category 4 storm has been pounding the southwestern coast of Haiti, where many people live in fragile shacks of wood and corrugated steel. 

The storm is headed toward Cuba, which is why about 700 Navy family members were evacuated Sunday from Naval Station Guantanamo Bay to Naval Air Station Pensacola. The Navy ordered the evacuation for military spouses and children at the base in Cuba on Saturday.

Thursday was a day of honor and reflection in memory of Marine Corps Capt. Jeff Kuss -- who died when his Blue Angel number-6 jet crashed near Nashville, Tennessee last week.

A private memorial service for the 32-year-old Kuss was held aboard NAS Pensacola on Thursday morning. On Thursday evening, Veterans Memorial Park was filled for a public candlelight vigil sponsored by the City of Pensacola.

Sandra Averhart / WUWF Public Media

Four Pensacola Pearl Harbor survivors are being honored in a ceremony Friday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. at NAS Pensacola. The event, presented by the NAS Pensacola Doolittle Raiders Association, is being hosted by the Navy’s Training Air Wing Six and the Air Force’s 479th Flying Training Group.

Being honored are retired Navy veterans Frank Emond, Cass Phillips, and Jay Carraway, and Marine Veteran Bill Braddock. 

Michael Spooneybarger/ CREO

Two performances into the 2016 season, the Blue Angels returned to Pensacola Monday, to celebrate the squadron’s 70th birthday.

The crowd gathered in the atrium at the Naval Aviation Museum welcoming the Blues, their wives, and their children back to Pensacola. There followed proclamations from the City of Pensacola, Escambia County, and base commander Capt. Keith Hoskins – himself a former Blue Angel.

Monday kicks off a brand new month, and aboard Naval Air Station Pensacola, a return to a previously-used traffic pattern and an exercise aimed at beefing up security.

Beginning February 1st, visitor traffic will be routed to the entrance on Blue Angel Parkway. Commander and Executive Officer Shawn Dominguez says that includes all unescorted visitors going to the most popular attractions aboard base: the National Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola Lighthouse, and Fort Barrancas.

National Naval Aviation Museuem

  Seventy-four years ago, the United States was cast into World War II by the Japanese air attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Today the National Naval Aviation Museum held its 24th annual observance.

Music was provided by the Tate High School Band – which is scheduled to perform at Pearl Harbor, for next year’s 75th anniversary. A half-dozen Pearl Harbor survivors – all in their 90s -- were seated in the front row to a standing ovation.

Coronal Development

Gulf Power Company and the U.S. Navy are weighing anchor on a new partnership, aimed at developing and distributing solar power.

Under a 37-year lease, Gulf Power will use almost 600 acres of property aboard NAS Pensacola, Whiting Field, and two outlying landing fields, Holly and Saufley. Natalie Smith at the utility says plans are to build two large generating facilities.

Fresh off their season-ending performance over NAS Pensacola, the Blue Angels welcomed a new boss on Sunday at the National Museum of Naval Aviation.

The hour-long ceremony, filled with Navy traditions, said goodbye to Captain Tom Frosch and greeted Commander Ryan Bernacchi, who takes over for the next two seasons. Rear Admiral Michael White told the packed atrium that these days, there are a number of debates over the Blues’ return on investment, especially if recruiting is up after a show.

Photo via Flickr// John P.// /

  Thousands of Blue Angels fans will crowd aboard NAS Pensacola on Friday and Saturday, for the flight demonstration team’s homecoming, and season-ending, performance.

2015 took the Blues across the United States, beginning in March above their winter home in El Centro, California; 68 performances at 38 venues later, the season closes at home.

Capt. Tom Frosch is also wrapping up his time as team commander. But his thoughts this weekend will be the same, as they were during his first show in 2013.

City of Pensacola

To honor the United States Navy’s 240th birthday, an “Eight Bell” ceremony was held Tuesday at all land stations and aboard all ships.

Article I of the United States Constitution directs Congress to raise an army as needed – but to maintain and provide for a navy. On October 13, 1775 the Continental Congress voted to outfit two sailing vessels – the Andrew Doria and the Cabot. Their mission: intercept transports of munitions and stores meant for the British army in the Colonies.

  As Hurricane Joaquin churns in the Atlantic, plans were put into place in northwest Florida to help, but there are changes in those plans.

Joaquin had appeared ready to move towards the East Coast, but the latest from the National Hurricane Center has the Category-4 storm and its 130 mph sustained winds jogging more to the northeast and further out into the Atlantic.


More than 1,000 family members, friends and teammates from around the
country gathered here Sept. 14 to honor and remember two Special Tactics
Airmen who were killed in action last month in an insider attack.

As the procession of family members departed the memorial, nearly 2,000 Air
Commandos lined the roads and saluted to honor Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 23rd
Special Tactics Squadron, and Staff Sgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 21st Special
Tactics Squadron. Both were killed Aug. 26 at a vehicle checkpoint near Camp
Antonik, Afghanistan.

Lindsay Myers

Moments of silence, prayers, hymns and remembrances were held Friday, observing the 14th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. One of them was held aboard NAS Pensacola.

The 40-minute observance in the Naval Aviation Museum’s atrium was attended by a number of civilians and uniformed military personnel representing all five service branches. Base commander, Capt. Keith Hoskins, bid them welcome.

NAS Pensacola observed the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Midway Atoll on Thursday morning, in a ceremony at the Museum of Naval Aviation.

Fought just six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Midway is often referred to as the turning point in the Pacific Theater.

“Our Navy and Marine Corps’ defense posture transitioned into an insurmountable offensive weapon that inflicted irreparable damage to the Imperial Japanese Navy on 4 June 1942,” said the event’s narrator. “Modern naval warfare was changed.”

U.S. Navy

The Blue Angels announced the commanding officer for the 2016 and 2017 seasons on Monday. And he’s coming to the team from both the cockpit and the classroom.

“I’m still very overwhelmed and humbled by the news I just received, and I’m absolutely thrilled by this opportunity,” said Commander Ryan Bernacchi.