By Conway Jones
San Francisco Fleet Week 2023 had the Bay Area “buzzing” from October 2 -10.
Fleet Week festivities honor the contributions of the men and women of the U.S. military.
The first San Francisco Fleet Week was held in 1981 thanks to the efforts of then Mayor Dianne Feinstein.
Since, it has been an integral part of the city’s local culture and economy. This year’s Fleet Week was dedicated to the life and legacy of the late U.S. Senator Feinstein.
In many peoples’ minds, the highlight was the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels.
This year is the Blue Angels’ 77th season since its 1946 founding. They are dedicated to the mission to showcase the teamwork and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps through flight demonstrations and community outreach while inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country.
Lt. Commander Amanda Lee is the first female pilot in the Blue Angels squadron. Selected in June 2022, she flies the left wing demo pilot in the No. 3 jet.
Scott Goossens, the No. 4 slot, graduated from St. Ignatius College Preparatory School in San Francisco in 2006. When asked if there were some defining moments in his life, he said, “I think that everyone in life has more failures in life than successes. You just have to keep pushing forward.”
Lt. Commander Julius Bratton is the lead solo pilot and flies the No. 5 jet for the 2023 Blue Angels team. Bratton is a native of Woodlawn, Tenn. He has over 2,000 flying hours and 207 aircraft-carrier assisted landings. He joined the Blue Angels in 2019.
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