New fliers picked for 2016 Blue Angels season

By Meghann Myers, Staff writer

Four sailors and one Marine are set to join the Blue Angels for next year’s season, according to a July 10 announcement on the team’s Facebook page.

Navy Lts. Tyler Davies, Lance Benson, Samuel Rose and Joe Hontz, as well as Marine Maj. Mark Montgomery, have been selected to join the elite Flight Demonstration Squadron next year, the announcement said.

“Selecting team members is always a difficult process, but once again I am confident we have picked the best, most qualified individuals for our team,” said current commanding officer, Capt. Tom Frosch, in a statement. “The 2016 team members were chosen from an exceptionally competitive talent pool, and we are excited to have them join our team.”

The selections were made after a 7-month “rush” process that allows current members to decide who joins the Pensacola-based team.

The five will join the team this fall as part of the 17-officer squadron, which includes seven F/A-18 pilots (including the commanding officer and a narrator, who doesn’t fly shows), three Marine C-130 pilots, an executive officer, an events coordinator and a flight surgeon, as well as maintenance, supply, administrative and public affairs officers.

They will join team members Lts. Matt Suyderhoud, Andrew Talbott, Ryan Chamberlain and Gregory Bollinger; Marine Capts. Jeff Kuss, Corrie Mays and Katie Higgins; Marine Maj. Mark Hamilton, executive officer Cmdr. Bob Flynn and incoming boss Cmdr. Ryan Bernacchi.

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