On July 1st of this year, United States Marine Corps Major Alba van Dongen, call sign "Alba", received her orders from Third Fleet command for a tour with the Navy Flight Demonstration Team as number 8 and Fat Albert Airlines captain, after a unanimous vote by all squadron members accepting her as a Blue, thus ending the Major's internship with the team.
The orders came in time for her to pilot Fat Albert in its first official flight demo appearance during this year's Independence Day Air Show (ID4 - see here!). Fat Albert has flown in support of the squadron before and appeared many times in static display during past demo seasons, but the squadron was waiting for a Marine to come forward and take on the responsibility of lifting Fat Albert Airlines off the ground as part of their demonstration layout. Well, the wait is over.
|Alba receives her certificate as Angel 8 for the 2018 Season at NAFEN.|
|Cougar, Mistell, Speed, QB, Alba and Commodore Foehammer.|
On this eight day of July, Major van Dongen received the orders officially at the Roy Marlin Voris auditorium, in the Barry Foehammer building at Naval Air Facility Eagles Nest (on the very day the building was officially named after Commodore Foehammer! - see here!). Gathered for the occasion were the active Blue Angels who welcomed her aboard with the traditional "Welcome to the team, asshole!" which Alba has been waiting to hear for a while now, and Commodore Barry Foehammer, who witnessed the customary simple but meaningful ceremony. Major van Dongen's internship, though impacted by her real life and taken aback unnecessarily by unforeseen circumstances, was taken seriously and in tandem with her other obligations as a Marine commanding officer of Third Fleet, and she pulled through all the obstacles in her way with a smile on her lips and staunch resolve. She is a credit to the Corps and a true asset to the Blues and the Fleet.
|The certificate with the coveted Blue Angels cases given to Alba on this day.|
As Blue Angel 8, Major van Dongen will assist with logistics and internship, particularly of ground crew members and, of course, Fat Albert Airlines crew. She will also assist as alternate Narrator during demonstrations and ground/event coordinator.
Good job pulling through the internship as you did, Major. You have the right to get your coffee brought to you now, so watch out for those pesky interns. Semper Fi.
CAPT. Asra Kron
Blue Angel 7 / NFDTXO / TFCOM