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Visiting angels

The Blue Angels

Pete George/Boeing

The Blue Angels arrived in St. Louis in their famous “delta” formation, wowing the crowd of Boeing employees who had gathered to watch.

The U.S. Navy’s world-famous Blue Angels demonstrate their precision-flying skills at dozens of air shows each year. But their Aug. 16 visit to St. Louis had special meaning because that is where Boeing built the aircrew’s F/A-18 Hornet jets.

On their way home from an air show, the Blue Angels flew into Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in "delta" formation and taxied to the Boeing tarmac to thank company employees for building their aircraft and to get an up-close look at the F/A-18 production line.

"This company - as individuals - is so important to our men and women in uniform," Blue Angels Cmdr. Greg "Boss" McWherter told Boeing employees. "You provide so much more than capabilities; you provide a support that we could not do our mission without."

"Thank you from the whole squadron," said Lt. Cmdr. Amy Tomlinson, event coordinator for the Blue Angels. "Seeing what you do behind the scenes and how it all fits together was remarkable. I’ve never seen anything like it."

The Blue Angels

Rich Rau/Boeing

U.S. Navy Lt. Jim Tomaszeski, Blue Angels #2 (right wing), signs autographs for Boeing employees who lined up to greet and shake hands with the famous aircrew during the team’s visit to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

Boeing Defense, Space & Security President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg greeted the Blue Angels upon their arrival and thanked them for taking the time to visit. 

"The demand for excellence that you put in your job is the same kind of excellence we try to put into the jets that we build," Muilenburg said. "Thank you for what you do and for taking the time to visit the team here in St. Louis. We also thank you for the mission that you do for our country and for inspiring us every day."

As the Boeing volunteer band played, the Blue Angel pilots chatted enthusiastically with employees and signed autographs. Many Boeing employees called the event unforgettable.

"There’s an immense amount of pride that this team takes in what we produce and deliver here to you," said Kory Mathews, Boeing vice president for F/A-18 and EA-18 programs.