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The Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, train for air shows at Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro, Calif., Feb. 26, 2021. The Blue Angels trained with the Air Force Thunderbirds.

The Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, train for air shows at Naval Air Facility (NAF) El Centro, Calif., Feb. 26, 2021. The Blue Angels trained with the Air Force Thunderbirds. (Drew Verbis/ Navy)

(Tribune News Service) -- The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, announced the commanding officer for the 2023 and 2024 seasons will be Skaneateles native Commander Alexander Armatas.

Applicants are required to have a minimum of 3,000 flight hours and be in current command or have had past command of a tactical jet squadron.

Armatas, a native of Skaneateles, previously served as the commanding officer of the “Gunslingers” of Strike Fighter Squadron 105.

His previous assignments include multiple squadron tours, where he deployed aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.

Cmdr. Armatas holds a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from the United States Naval Academy. Armatas has more than 4,000 flight hours and more than 900 carrier arrested landings. His decorations include multiple unit and personal awards.

He will report for initial training in Pensacola, Fla., in September and officially take command of the squadron at the end of the air show season in November. Cmdr. Armatas will lead a squadron of 154 personnel and serve as the demonstration flight leader. As commander of the unit, he will fly the No. 1 jet during Blue Angels performances.

The Blue Angels perform for 11 million people annually across the United States, and are scheduled to perform 64 shows in 32 locations during the 2022 season.

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