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Blue Angels perform last show for a while

The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels perform over the Keys during the Southernmost Air Spectacular on Sunday. Budget cuts will curtail the shows.

Associated Press

The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels perform over the Keys during the Southernmost Air Spectacular on Sunday. Budget cuts will curtail the shows.

KEY WEST — The Blue Angels may have performed their final exhibition for the foreseeable future.

Six pilots from the Navy's elite fighter jet demonstration unit dazzled crowds Sunday, performing intricate and close-quarters maneuvers above the Florida Keys during the Southernmost Air Spectacular at Naval Air Station Key West.

There were nearly 27,000 attendees Saturday and more than 10,000 Sunday.

Department of Defense directives say that military aerial demonstrations are among the cost saving measures that take effect on April 1 under automatic federal budget cuts.

The Navy said some air performances have already been canceled.

Congress ratified a plan to finance the government for the rest of the fiscal year last Thursday, but it's unclear whether any remaining Blue Angels demonstrations will continue.

The Blue Angels' flight leader said the canceled performances would hamper naval recruiting.

Blue Angels perform last show for a while 03/24/13 [Last modified: Sunday, March 24, 2013 7:31pm]
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