A pair of Blue Angels jets got a little too close for comfort during training in Florida

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Two aircraft from the Navy's Blue Angels demonstration squadron touched mid-flight during a Wednesday practice at Naval Air Station Pensacola, the Pensacola News Journal first reported.


The Navy confirmed on Thursday that the canopy of Blue Angel 3, flown by Lt. James Cox, "made momentary contact" with the underside of the outer wing of Blue Angel 1, piloted by Blue Angel commander Capt. Eric Doyle, Navy spokeswoman Lt. Michelle Tucker told the News Journal.

The aircraft were practicing the Diamond 360 maneuver at the time of the incident, Tucker said. Nobody was injured in the incident.

The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, Diamond pilots perform the Diamond 360 over Lake Washington during Seafair Festival 2018 (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Daniel M. Young)

Doyle called for an immediate safety standdown in the aftermath of the incident, which is standard protocol, Tucker told Mllitary.com.

Although an initial damage assessment the two F/A-18 Super Hornet jets revealed just a "minimal scratch" on the canopy of Blue Angel 3, according to the News Journal, the two aircraft will not participate in the squadron's upcoming performance at the Chicago Air and Water Show this weekend

"Capt. Doyle is confident in the abilities of his pilots," Tucker told Military.com in a statement. "The team trains diligently to operate in the safest possible manner, and they select only the best naval aviators and support personnel to fill their ranks."

US Marine Corps

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Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.

In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.

A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.

The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.

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