VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — An officer stationed at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach was picked to become the Blue Angels' first female F/A-18E/F fighter jet demonstration pilot.
Lt. Amanda Lee is currently assigned to the “Gladiators” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 that flies the F/A-18E and the F/A-18F Super Hornet jets. She graduated from Old Dominion University in Norfolk in 2013.
She is one of two that will fly the Super Hornet. The other is Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Zimmerman, who is currently assigned to the “Red Rippers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 11 at NAS Oceana.
Each year, the Blue Angels pick the finalists to interview at the team’s home base of NAS Pensacola, Florida, during the week of the Pensacola Beach Air Show. That took place July 6 to 9 this year and selections for the team were made at the end of the week.
In September, new team members will report to the squadron for a two-month turnover period.
Once the 2022 show season ends in November, the team will embark on a rigorous five-month training program at NAS Pensacola and Naval Air Facility El Centro, California.