WOKV has learned the Navy has created a “comprehensive FY 2014 Community Outreach Plan” that supports efforts to connect Americans to the military through flight demonstrations, regional band performances and more. This comes after a year when 2,800 national outreach efforts were halted by the Department of Defense because of sequestration, including most of the Blue Angels performances this year.
The cancellation of the Blue Angels performance prompted NAS Jax to call of this year’s air show, which would have been this weekend. The rotation means the 2014 Air and Sea Spectacular should have been hosted by Jacksonville Beach, but Mayor Charlie Latham tells WOKV News that NAS Jax asked the city if they could host in 2014 and the city obliged. We called NAS Jax for comment, but they had not been formally notified about either the Blue Angels or next year’s air show. We will continue to communicate with the base to learn more details as they become available.
The Navy says it will not be returning to pre-sequestration levels of outreach activities, but key programs will help increase their exposure. The events will be scaled down due to a 45% funding reduction.
The events on the schedule for next year, according to a release from the Navy Chief of Information, include performances by the Blue Angels and Leap Frogs, the latter are parachute teams. Additionally, there will be five Fleet Weeks, six Navy Weeks, Navy and regional band performances and 10 port visits to US cities.
The Blue Angels are slated to perform in Jacksonville the weekend of October 25-26.