View Full Version : Former Miramar, Lemoore pilot to head Navy's Blue Angels

04-25-04, 08:20 AM
Former Miramar, Lemoore pilot to head Navy's Blue Angels

1:22 p.m. April 22, 2004

PENSACOLA, Fla. A veteran of combat over Afghanistan was named Thursday as the next leader of the Blue Angels, the Navy's precision flying team.

Cmdr. Stephen R. Foley, now a graduate student at the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., will assume command of the Blue Angels at Pensacola Naval Air Station on Nov. 14 after the 2004 air show season ends. He will fly the No. 1 jet in the six-plane team for the next two years.

Rear Adm. George E. Mayer, chief of naval air training in Corpus Christi, Texas, announced Foley's selection from seven finalists. He will replace Capt. John Pruitt, of Birmingham, Ala., who has headed the team for the past two years.

Foley is a native of Charlestown, Mass. He graduated in 1984 with an English degree from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. The next year, he went through the Navy's officer candidate school in Pensacola and earned his wings at Meridian Naval Air Station, Miss., where he then served as an instructor pilot.

He flew support missions during Operation Desert Shield while based at Lemoore Naval Air Station, Calif., served as a Topgun student and instructor at the Navy's Fighter Weapons School on Miramar Naval Air Station, Calif., and flew over Iraq during Operation Southern Watch in 1996 and 1998.

Foley flew 48 combat missions over Afghanistan from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt during Operation Enduring Freedom as executive officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 82, based at Beaufort Marine Corps Station, S.C.

The Afghan missions were in F/A-18 Hornet jets, the same type of aircraft flown by the Blue Angels.

Foley became commander of Strike Fighter Squadron 82 in March 2002 and last year was named Commanding Officer of the Year in the Atlantic Strike Fighter Wing.

Since July 2003, he has been working on a Master of Arts degree in national security and strategic studies at the Naval War College.