Blue Angels back in the Bay Area for Fleet Week

Fleet Week is in full swing in San Francisco.

The Blue Angels took to the skies above the San Francisco Bay, practicing for part of the Fleet Week festivities. KTVU caught up with the top-notch aviators before they took off.

The Blue Angels saying as amazing as flying for the elite group is, visiting the Bay Area, getting to share their mission with students at schools or those in hospitals is a highlight for them.

From the air to the Bay visitors got a chance to visit active duty ships including the USS Princeton with a working crew aboard.

"The responsibility is great, especially considering the situation as it is now in the Pacific and the Middle East," said David Miller from Novato. "It's very hot button, so it's very difficult."

The Princeton is a guided missile cruiser that survived a mine-strike in 1991.

Lt. Mark Bovich says it plays a critical role in coordinating air defense for the Nimitz carrier strike group that can be anything from shooting down enemy missiles to managing naval aviators in a dogfight.

Bovich says welcoming the Bay Area aboard his home is an honor.

"When we come in for events like Fleet Week San Francisco and we see the families, the kids it really brings us full circle," he said. "It allows us to see, we really do mean a lot to these people and we are role models and it really elevates the level of responsibility for us on board."

The United States Marines were on hand to battle hunger spending part of their leave volunteering at San Francisco Marin Food Bank. Marine Corps Chaplain Andrea Gilkey said her family depended on food assistance when she was a child and giving back brings her full circle.

"What inspires me, and what's exciting to me about this food bank is that they're set up like a farmers market. To give people health choices, which we didn't have. So, I'm thrilled about that," she said.

Fleet Week kicks into high gear Friday with the parade of ships at 11 a.m., then the air show Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Organizers say the best place to watch the show is Marina Green.