ST. LOUIS – The world-renowned Blue Angels are busy this holiday season; they are touring the country promoting their upcoming 2023 air show season. FOX 2’s Amelia Mugavero shared what to expect for their show here in St. Louis next year.

The Blue angels are set to bring all the spectacular tricks we see in the sky each year, but some of the pilots are new to the team. Some of the pilots spoke about what inspired their journey to the cockpit.

In a blur of blue and gold, two Blue Angel pilots landed at Scott Air Force Base this week. It’s all to promote and plan their upcoming 2023 air show season. One of those shows includes St. Louis in May.

Lieutenant commanders Thomas Zimmerman and Brian Vaught are touring several towns this winter. Both joined the Blue Angels in September, but their dream to join the navy took flight years ago.

“The minute that I saw a flyover at a baseball game, that’s what sparked me to fly,” Vaught shared. “I said that looked like fun. Let’s give it a shot.”

“I always go back to when I was six years old standing on hospital point in Maryland looking up, and I saw the Blue angels flying,” Zimmerman remembered. “Kind of from there, it just inspired me that that could be an option, I went that route to join the Naval academy, and here I am standing here today, very fortunate.”

While Santa has his sleigh and eight reindeer, these pilots prefer a much faster means of travel in F-18 Super Hornets. The planes are a new addition for the Blue Angels, and were all built at the Boeing plant in St. Louis. The pilots say it’s a little bigger, a little faster, and a little louder.

“If you have seen us before, you are going to see some of those traditional blue angel formations, but we have also added from new flare and tricks to bring it up to date,” Zimmerman revealed.

Zimmerman and Vaught said they are honored to wear the iconic blue and yellow uniform – a legacy that has lasted since the 1940s. The Blue Angels pilots only get to serve on the team for two years total.

“I go back to my roots and think, where do we come from, and everyone here works for a short time to represent the fleet, and then we go right back to work brothers and sisters in arms,” Zimmerman added.

With every show and city they land, it is an opportunity to inspire the next generation.

“I promise it will be a great show and you ‘ll leave with a smile on your face,” Vaught shared.

The Blue Angels will be preforming in the Scott Air Force Base Airshow and Stem Expo happening May 13 and 14. This will be the team’s first time back to the base since 2010. The Blue Angels were also in the St. Louis area this past June.