The Blue Angels will perform over Charleston Harbor next month in a special air show.
The one-hour shows April 17 and 18, which will cap Charleston's Navy Week celebration, came about after the Air Force Base was forced to cancel its much larger air expo here due to the increased focus on fighting in Afghanistan.
Navy Lts. Amy Tomlinson and C.J. Simonsen arrived at the base in one of the trademark Blue Angel F/A-18 Hornet jets. The pair said they were evaluating locations in Charleston and Mount Pleasant, and looking at everything from safety to parking.
"Our hope is to fly in between the two cities, over the harbor," Tomlinson said. "C.J. and I are here today to make sure that is a safe environment, that the bridge is not a factor and that any obstacles are not going to be a hindrance to our putting on our performance."
Tomlinson said they plan to bring six F/A-18s and a C-130, a transport plane nicknamed "Fat Albert," to put on a one-hour show each day.
The plan calls for one central location in Mount Pleasant -- most likely Patriots Point -- and an undecided location on the Charleston side. There also have been talks about broadcasting the accompanying emcee and music on a radio station.
The Blue Angels team is stationed at Forrest Sherman Field at the Pensacola (Fla.) Naval Air Station during the show season. The squadron spends January through March training pilots and new team members at the Naval Air Facility in El Centro, Calif.
The team is led by Navy Cmdr. Greg McWherter, a 1990 graduate of The Citadel. A civil engineering major in college, McWherter also was a member of the 2nd Battalion staff and played soccer.
Charleston is one of 20 cities selected to host a Navy Week celebration. The event, set for April 12-18, is designed to give Lowcountry residents opportunities to meet service members and learn about the Navy's mission and its broad-ranging capabilities.
Other units and attractions that may be featured during Charleston Navy Week include the Navy Leap Frogs Parachute Team; Navy rock and ceremonial bands; Navy divers; and flight simulators and other interactive displays.
The Navy will name the venues for the events in coming days.
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