Jul 18, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Blue Angels select first female fighter jet pilot

Blue Angels jets fly as thousands gathered at Jones Beach for the Bethpage Air Show in New York on May 29. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels on Monday selected the first female fighter jet pilot to join their elite flight demonstration squadron.

Driving the news: Lt. Amanda Lee will join the Blue Angels for the 2023 air show season as an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet pilot, according to a press release. She was selected alongside five other new members.

  • The Blue Angels selected another F/A-18E/F Super Hornet pilot, an events coordinator, a C-130J Super Hercules pilot, an aviation maintenance officer and a flight surgeon to join its rank, in addition to Lee.
  • They will replace outgoing officers of the 17-member squadron.

What they're saying: "We had an overwhelming number of applicants from all over the globe this year," Capt. Brian Kesselring, commanding officer and flight leader of the Blue Angels, said in a statement.

  • “We look forward to training our fantastic new team members, passing on the torch, and watching the incredible things this team will accomplish in 2023," he added.

Background: The Thunderbirds, the U.S. Air Force's premier flight demonstration team, selected Col. Nicole Malachowski as its first female pilot in 2005.

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