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Fri, May 07, 2004

Blue Angels Name New Pilot

LCDR Deren To Take Over For Major Shipley

The Blue Angels have assigned former Blues' pilot LCDR "JD" Deren to take over for the slot left open by the departure of a pilot released "for undisclosed medical reasons."

USMC Major Daniel Shipley, of Summit, NJ, had flown the #3 Hornet, off the leader's left wing since the beginning of the new season, before his release. Shipley will be reassigned to new, non-Blues, duties. Shipley was a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, having logged more than 1,900 hours and 179 "traps" (carrier landings).

Shipley was the only Marine pilot, and was just starting a two-year assignment.For the last several days, the Blues have been flying a "five-ship" show awaiting the appointment of a new flyer. Deren had flown previously with the Blues, having joined them in September 2001, after accumulating (then) more than 2000 hours and 273 traps.

His personal awards include the Air Medal (First Strike/Flight Award), the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, the Battle Efficiency Award and various personal and unit awards.

The Blue Angels PAO has confirmed that Deren will be flying with the team as early as this weekend's performances in Atlanta, GA. A Navy spokesman noted that it didn't take Deren long to get "back in the saddle..."



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