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Hawaii Kai man joins Navy's Blue Angels as pilot

By Gregg K. Kakesako

LAST UPDATED: 11:23 a.m. HST, Jul 23, 2014

A Honolulu F/A-18 pilot has been selected to join the Navy's elite Blue Angels flight demonstration team.

Navy Lt. Matt Suyderhoud, who grew up in Hawaii Kai, will be entertaining audiences above Kaneohe Bay during a Blue Angels performance planned for Oct. 17-18, 2015.

Suyderhoud is a 2001 graduate of Maryknoll School and a 2005 graduate of Saint Louis University in St. Louis, Mo.

Only a few members are chosen from the many who apply.

The squadron selected an executive officer, three F/A-18 demonstration pilots, an events coordination officer, two C-130 demonstration pilots, a flight surgeon, and a supply officer to join the 2015 team, the Navy said in a news release.

Suyderhoud, 31, is currently assigned to Training Squadron 22 at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas.

"All of our finalists this year are incredible examples of some of the finest officers in the Navy and Marine Corps, from both the aviation community and the fleet," Lt. Cmdr. John Hiltz, the applications officer, said in a news release.

"What was most important for us -- regardless of anything else -- was to select the most qualified individuals for the team to represent the more than 540,000 sailors and marines deployed around the world, around the clock.  And I'm happy to say that we've done that."

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