Part 4 of 6

Published in the June 1976 Issue of Naval Aviation News
Author: Commander Rosario Rausa
Photographer Unknown

No, they're not a vaudeville team, but they're in show business, all right.

Net to the boss, Lt. Jim Bauer reportedly has the toughest job in the Blue Angel squadron. As Events Coordinator, he spends much of his time on the phone - at lease 15 call a day. It's his formidable task to organize air-show support requirements and ensure that each and every detail is tended to. If the title "public affairs" applies to anyone, it applies to Naval Flight Officer Bauer.

 "Last year'" says Bauer, "it took me 15 minutes to do what I can now handle in five. I'm improving."

 "The toughest part of this job," he admits, "is getting the sponsors to fully appreciate our requirements and seeing to it that our needs are met in a timely manner."

 "The commitments for a typical air-show weekend are so many and tightly scheduled that ETA's must be strictly adhered to. If, for example, the pilots are addressing a civic group at one end of town and there's a parade going on between them and the airfield, a police escort has got to be available as planned. Otherwise we're in trouble."

 At the start of winter training, Bauer flew with Lt. Nile Kraft in the TA-4 on a multi-day round robin to locales on the 1976 schedule. Hopefully, preliminary meetings with officials on the trip will iron out major details.

 "Then'" says Bauer, "it's a matter of following up. I usually work a couple of months in advance. By the time the Blues lift off, say at Daytona Beach on April 22, my job is 95 percent complete - for Daytona Beach, that is. Let's see, that means I'd be concentrating on Green Bay, Wis. (June 26) and there's 12 shows in between."

 Nile Kraft - he of the mellifluous voice and, yes, they call him the cheese man, is a former A-7 driver in his first year with the Blues. He will fleet up to a diamond pilot position next year. In this bicentennial season, he flies media personnel on indoctrination flights. His biggest job, though is to describe the aerial ballet as it unfolds before vast gatherings of people.

 At El Centro, Kraft works on his narrative and often accompanies the video cameramen and Mike Deter out to the simulated center point in the team's practice area. While the entourage watch and film the Blue Angels at work, Nile's voice booms through the air, sans microphone, practicing dialogue . . . "Commander Jones will now lead the formation through the difficult line abreast loop. This maneuver requires . . . ."