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    Tour for the Troops at NAS Pensacola

    Tour for the Troops at NAS Pensacola

    Photo By Jason Bortz | Hunter Hayes, a country music singer, performs at Naval Air Station Pensacola as part...... read more read more



    Story by Jason Bortz 

    Naval Air Station Pensacola

    PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Hunter Hayes! Hunter Hayes! Hunter Hayes! More than 14,000 fans yelled Hunter Hayes’ name moments before he took the stage for a concert onboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola June 21.

    Hayes, along with Brandon Ratcliff and Jessie Ritter, performed the show as part of the Air Force Reserve Tour for the Troops concert series organized by NAS Pensacola Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR). The concert was free and was open to the public.

    “MWR puts on many free events during the year for our active duty and Department of Defense patrons, but our opportunities with the Air Force Reserve are always special,” said Kerry Shanaghan, director of NAS Pensacola MWR. “With the backing of the NAS Pensacola command, Security Department, community sponsors, MWR employees and our military volunteers, MWR had this unique opportunity to present a national performer on base.”

    Hayes, an American country artist who is proficient in more than 30 instruments, headlined the tour. Prior to the concert, Hayes went to the Naval Air Technical Training Center Galley to talk to service members eating lunch.

    “This is amazing,” said Hayes, who is originally from Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. “It’s an honor to perform in front of military service members.”

    Hayes is also an aviation enthusiast and was able to watch a Blue Angels practice and visit the National Naval Aviation Museum with Brandon Ratcliff, who is also an American country artist.

    “I’ve never seen the Blue Angels perform, they were incredible,” said Ratcliff, who is from Cotton Valley, Louisiana. “My Dad was in the Army National Guard and we used to attend events like concerts on bases, so I’m really excited to perform in front of service members.”

    Kicking off the concert was local country music artist Jessie Ritter, who lives in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Prior to this concert, the largest crowd she played to was 3,000 people.

    “This is the largest crowd I have ever played in front of,” said Ritter. “I’m a little nervous, but also super excited.”

    Despite the 90-degree plus heat, all three performers were greeted by fans from both the base and the local community.

    “This concert was our way of thanking the community for its support of the military and MWR,” said Shanaghan. “The performers were very appreciative of the large enthusiastic audience. We were very pleased with this very successful event, and we look forward to inviting the public back out in November for the 2019 Blue Angels Homecoming Airshow.”

    For more than a century, NAS Pensacola, referred to as the "Cradle of Naval Aviation," has supported operational and training missions of tenant commands, currently including Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC), Naval Aviation Schools Command (NASC), the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training (CNATT), Marine Aviation Training Support Groups (MATSG) 21 and 23 and is the headquarters for Naval Education and Training Command (NETC).



    Date Taken: 06.24.2019
    Date Posted: 06.24.2019 16:34
    Story ID: 328946
    Location: US

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