NAS Pensacola

NAS Pensacola

Naval Air Station Pensacola spent 2014 celebrating its centennial, as the Navy’s oldest such installation. WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody looks back.

The events kicked off in January, as the base honored one of the Navy pioneers who helped put the installation on the map.  Walter Leroy Richardson was a photo enthusiast and began capturing aviation activities on film.

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The Blue Angels will celebrate homecoming and the end of the 2014 performance season this weekend, with a first-ever three-day event at Sherman Field aboard NAS Pensacola.

This is the first homecoming in two years, thanks to sequester – the across-the-board federal budget cuts that grounded the Navy flight squadron. Blue Angels commander, Capt. Tom Frosch says the biggest challenge was how to keep the team intact for 2014.

Photo via Flickr//Jason Mitchell

Fourteen Florida counties will share $2.45 million from the state’s Defense Infrastructure and Reinvestment Grant Programs. The funding will provide support for community projects at 19 military installations.

Florida’s military and defense sector is responsible for almost 9.5% of the state’s economy. That translates to 758,000 direct and indirect jobs that represent $73 billion in spending.

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With Naval Air Station Pensacola, Corry Station, and Whiting Field located in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, there are a number of young sailors who may be interested in the new book, The Ultimate Chief Petty Officer Guidebook: Tips, Tactics, and Techniques for Sailors Who are Serious about Becoming a Chief Petty Officer.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Michael Lindsey/Released

For the first time in nearly 50 years, the Pensacola Naval Air Station has a new aircraft on display at the main gate. As part of a series of events to celebrate the base’s 100 year anniversary, a special ceremony was held Tuesday to unveil the new plane: partial coverings were removed, revealing special details on the plane,  which was painted in the Blue Angels blue and gold.

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Naval Air Station Pensacola Wednesday morning marked the 72nd anniversary of the Battle of Midway in World War II, in a ceremony at the base’s Five Flags Pavilion.

Fought just six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Midway is considered the turning point for the United States in Pacific Theater. In his opening remarks, base Executive Officer Dave Jasso said the battle shifted the momentum, transforming the U.S. Navy from a defensive force to an offensive one.

Steve Cooke//Flickr Steve Cooke-SRAviation

There was a familiar sight in the air over El Centro, California on Saturday as the Blue Angels, the Navy's flight demonstration team began the 2014 season before a crowd of over 30,000. After spending most of 2013 on the ground, the Blue Angels made it back in the air this past weekend to start the 2014 show schedule. 

Dave Dunwoody / WUWF News

The Naval Education and Training Command is under new management. A change of command ceremony was held Friday at the Museum of Naval Aviation aboard NAS Pensacola.

After two years on the job, Rear Adm. Donald Quinn stepped down at NET-C commander in a traditional Navy ceremony. He was succeeded by Rear Adm. Michael White. Quinn is also retiring after a 35-year naval career.

If you thought the ceremony would be one of solemn talk and sad faces, then you would have had another think coming. And it was led by Quinn, whose nickname is “DQ.”

Dave Dunwoody

Naval Air Station Pensacola Friday morning kicked off its 100th anniversary celebration, by honoring one of the many Navy pioneers who helped put the installation on the map.

In his narration, Commander Dave Jasso said when Lt. Commander Henry Mustin anchored the USS Massachusetts in Pensacola Bay one of his crewmen, Ships Cook 4th Class Walter Leroy Richardson, was a photo enthusiast and began capturing aviation activities on film.

Naval Air Station Pensacola kicks off its Centennial Celebration on Friday, with the dedication of the base’s Command Headquarters.

This is actually the second 100-year observance aboard the base. The first was in 2011 – one of a series of branch-wide events commemorating naval aviation.

Harry White, the Public Information Officer at NAS, says when Lt. Commander Henry Mustin came down to begin the Navy’s aviation program, he brought with him Ship’s Cook 4th Class Walter Leroy Richardson – whose hobby, it turned out -- was photography.

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