PENSACOLA, Fla. (WTHI) - The U.S. Navy Blue Angels call the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida home...and only a few people make it past their front door to see inside, but News 10 did.
Power, precision, and performance.
The jets are definitely the face of the famed U.S. Navy Blue Angels.
These impressive multi-roll fighters are more specifically known as FA-18 Hornets.
You'll get the chance to see them perform at the upcoming Terre Haute Air Show, but beyond the Hornets are the pilots.
Major Jeffrey Mullins commands the blue and yellow jet, which is numbered three.
He joined the Blue Angels less than a year ago.
"I never thought I would get the opportunity to come here...it actually took me a while to get here, but I'm glad to finally be here and to be a part of this team," Major Mullins told us.
He has several years of flying and hundreds of flight hours under his belt.
LINK | THE TERRE HAUTE AIR SHOW
He trains constantly to master dangerous maneuvers where only inches separate his jet from the others on the team.
"The first time I see that jet is when I'm strapping into it prior to going up and flying," Major Mullins said. "I just get in and go."
That's right, no preflight checks. These pilots trust their fellow team members with their lives.
"We are the embodiment of teamwork. Everyone has a role to fill on the team and everyone fills it...very well," the major told us.
News 10 received a behind the scenes look at everything, with just one exception...the pilot meeting before and after the flight.
That time was off limits.
"We usually have a brief about an hour prior taking off," Major Mullins explained. "During the brief, we kind of go through what the weather is, what conditions we're expecting, and do what we call chair flying...more like a mental rehearsal of what we're going to see out there, and then we get really excited. Real amped up to put on a great show for our team."
While walking to the flight line and heading to their jets, the pilots are laser focused.
They have to be...there's no room for error.
"We strive for perfection, we are never going to reach it, but we strive to make everyone who helps us fly proud," Major Mullins said.
The Blue Angels define teamwork.
The jets may get all of the attention as the headliners, and the pilots come in at a close second...but to get the jets off the ground, it takes a squadron.
"It is a lot of fun to go out there and do the shows...and just show off what all 130 of our Blue Angels can help to put together," Major Mullins told us.
In the cockpit, Major Mullins and the other pilots push the limits, showcasing U.S. Navy and Marine Corps pride and professionalism.
In part two, Susan Dinkel will peel back the layers beyond the jets and beyond the piolets.