Blue Angels cancel all 2013 performances

Budget cuts cited for season's cancellation

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PENSACOLA NAVAL AIR STATION, Fla. - The U.S. Navy has canceled the remainder of the elite Blue Angels demonstration team's 2013 season and the Air Force is grounding about a third of its combat force because of federal budget cuts.

The commanders of the Air Force's Air Combat Command and the Navy's air forces announced the moves Tuesday.

The Blue Angels have performed at air shows around the world for more than 60 years. A spokesman for the Navy said team members would be allowed to fly minimal hours to maintain flight proficiency in the F/A-18 fighter jets, but the six-jet squadron would discontinue group practices for the remainder of the season.

The Air Force began grounding about one-third of its active-duty combat aircraft, including squadrons of fighters, bombers and airborne warning and control craft.

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday released the following statement about the cancellation:

"The cancellation of the 2013 Blue Angels Air Show is a major blow to families and jobs in Pensacola and the nation. Families come from everywhere to enjoy the show and watch America's military might on display. These visitors fill area hotels, they eat at our restaurants and enjoy our beaches. The President missed a real opportunity to lead and help Florida families get back to work by making government more efficient and reducing spending in ways that make sense. In Florida, we continue to work to grow jobs for Florida families. Just last week, I was proud to be in Pensacola to announce that Navy Federal Credit Union will create more than 1,500 jobs for families in Northwest Florida – our largest economic announcement to date. In Florida, our plan to grow the economy is working, and we encourage Washington to follow our lead."

Blue Angels may be grounded after air show

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