Blue Angels to fly at 2014 Oceana Air Show

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by 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on October 23, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 24 at 6:18 PM

10/23 UPDATE: The Blue Angels will return to their full schedule for the 2014 air show season, which includes a stop at Naval Air Station Oceana September 20-21.
"This is great news for Oceana," said NAS Oceana Commanding Officer Captain Kit Chope. "It's important for us to bring our civilian community onto the base to showcase what our military professionals do every day and our annual air show is the best way to do that."
The 2013 show was cancelled due to sequestration.

WASHINGTON, DC - The popular air shows at NAS Oceana in Va. Beach and Langley Air Force Base in Hampton were cancelled this year because of the budget battle in Congress.

The sequester cut money for military training, including training for all pilots.

Later Wednesday, lawmakers will look at restoring money to get the Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels flying again and funding other military programs. If it passes, it won't happen until next year.

Military training was cut when Congress insisted the sequester cuts had to be across the board - affecting everything. It then told the Pentagon to decide for itself what to cut.

The Air Force has to ground one third of its active duty bombers and fighter planes on a rotating basis. So, the challenge is to make sure the crews still get enough training to be ready if and when they're needed.

There's only enough money for them to practice twice a week - instead of 3 times a day - the way they used to.

More important, national security could be compromised because training for all the other pilots is cut back, too. So, the Air Force is trying to compensate by using more flight simulators.

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