Local sailor joins Blue Angels

Saturday, January 6, 2007

A local sailor recently received a promotion to the prestigious Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels.

Greencastle native Petty Officer Michael B. Grimes reported for duty earlier this week for training and an introduction to the squadron at Naval Air Facility El Centro, California.

According to the official Blue Angels website, "The Blue Angels' mission is to enhance Navy and Marine Corps recruiting efforts and to represent the naval service to the United States, its elected leadership and foreign nations.

"The Blue Angels serve as positive role models and goodwill ambassadors for the U. S. Navy and Marine Corps," the website continued.

In California, Grimes will be the lead mechanic for the number one jet. The number one jet is the lead jet and one of two twin passenger F/A-18 Hornets that the Blue Angels flies.

This plane often arrives a few days before an air show in order to give celebrities and other media personnel a chance to ride in the plane for promotional purposes.

Michael's father, Jim, said his son will have chances to be in the jet on flights as well.

"He should have several opportunities to ride in the jet," Jim told the BannerGraphic.

Petty Officer Grimes will be with the squadron for the next three years as a mechanic.

Petty Officer Grimes has been in the Navy since the spring of 1999 .

His other accolades have included 2005 Sailor of the Year at Naval Air Station Pensacola and a Commendation Medal for his sustained superior performance as the Leading Petty Officer for the Funeral Honor Guard Division.

Gosport, the home-based newspaper for the Pensacola, Florida Naval Air Station, said, "During his tour with the Honor Guard, Grimes organized, scheduled and led (more than) 1,800 Military funeral services for the families of the Gulf Coast Region."

The newspaper reported that Petty Officer Grimes future plans after the Blue Angels "include applying to the Limited Duty Officer Program upon eligibility."

Petty Officer Michael B. Grimes could not be reached for comment prior to publication.

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