SMYRNA, Tenn. -- The arrival of the Blue Angels has come, as evidenced this week when Navy Blue Angel Lt. Ryan Chamberlain flew Angel Bird 7 on a practice landing and take-off at Smyrna Airport.
“We flew in from Houston today in preparation for June’s big air show,” said Lt. Cmdr. Michael Cheng, who is a Blue Angel.
Gary Bradshaw, Rob Henley and Regina Medlen, Paul Lamb and Jimmie Taylor were among local residents who greeted Chamberlain and Cheng as they researched the layout of historic Smyrna Airport, site of the June 2014 Great Tennessee Air Show.
Taylor formerly commanded the Blue Angels before his retirement as a U.S. Navy rear admiral.
“Anytime I hear the Blue Angels are here, I’m here,” Taylor said at a brief press conference.
“People should bring their children here more often to experience the historical significance of old Sewart Air Force Base,” Bradshaw said.
“I work for AttendStar, a company based at Smyrna Airport,” said Henley, who is a software engineer. “We are fortunate to witness history being made here at the airport.”
“The Great Tennessee Air Show has been held at Smyrna Airport for more than 40 years,” Smyrna Airport Executive Director John Black said during the press conference. “It gives area residents the opportunity to experience aviation up close and personal. We appreciate the Blue Angels coming today as a preview for the air show set for June.”
The Blue Angels also headlined The Great Tennessee Air Show in 2008 and 2012.
Since 1946, the Blue Angels have served as international ambassadors for the Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.