Spending cuts due to ground Navy's Blue Angels flying team
MOBILE, Alabama (Reuters) - Blue Angels pilot Dave Tickle said he is focused on practicing maneuvers for an upcoming show in California instead of worrying about how federal spending cuts will threaten performances this year by the U.S. Navy's renowned flight demonstration squadron.
With $85 billion in automatic cuts due to take effect on Friday, millions of fans across the country will likely miss out on the precision flying team's thrilling shows this year.
Blue Angels shows scheduled in more than two dozen cities between April and September are expected to be canceled as part of the cuts, said the team's spokeswoman, Lieutenant Katie Kelly. Some shows featuring the Blue Angels already have been called off in the face of budget uncertainties.
The grounding would be a sentimental loss for fans but not as serious as other reductions to defense spending, which President Barack Obama said could threaten Navy readiness. The Defense Department said the cuts would slash ship and aircraft maintenance, curtail training and result in 22 days' unpaid leave for most of the Pentagon's 800,000 civilian employees.