Virginia Beach, Va. (WTKR) - The Blue Angels will once again take to the skies over Hampton Roads in 2014 as part of the NAS Oceana Air Show.
The iconic U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron was grounded earlier this year due to Department of Defense budget cuts. The air show at NAS Oceana was also canceled.
On Wednesday, NAS Oceana Commanding Officer Capt. Kit Chope announced the show would return following word this week that the Blue Angels would return to their full air show season in 2014.
"It’s a long time coming. We are awful proud of who we are here at Oceana," Capt. Chope explained. "We are proud of what we do and the ability to open up our gates and showcase that talent to the general public is what we are all about."
Capt. Chope says there was a sense of excitement at Oceana on Wednesday as word spread that the air show would return. Even though it's nearly a year away, he's confident the show will go on despite looming budget fights.
"We are certainly in uncertain times, but I am very optimistic that this has the kind of priority to maintain its drive through the next fiscal year," explained Capt. Chope. "So, I’m very hopeful that we will not hear any bad news."
The NAS Oceana Air Show typically brings 250,000 visitors to the Master Jet Base over the course of the weekend.
"I think folks realize within Navy leadership and within the Department of Defense that this is an important tool for recruiting efforts. It’s an important tool to showcase and tell our story," Capt. Chope said.
The last time the NAS Oceana Air Show was canceled prior to 2013 was in 2001 after the September 11 terror attacks.
The 2014 NAS Oceana Air Show is scheduled for September 20-21.