Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl signs United States Naval Academy for 2016

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl executive director, Brant Ringler, and Naval Academy director of athletics, Chet Gladchuk, announced today that Navy has agreed to play in the 2016 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas, if bowl eligible. Navy had previously announced it would play in the game in 2013 as well.

“Navy has been one of the most consistent football programs in the country over the last nine years, and we are thrilled to have them come to Fort Worth twice in a four-year time period,” said Ringler. “Extending our agreement with Navy to include the 2016 bowl game positions the Armed Forces Bowl to once again have a military academy in our game for four out of five years beginning with Navy in 2013.”

The Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl announced last week an agreement with the Army Athletic Association that has the Black Knights participating in its 2014 and 2017 games, if bowl eligible. The original bowl game to pay full tribute to the military has featured a service academy in its previous four bowl games with Air Force playing in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and Army playing in the most recent edition in 2010.

“We have thousands of alumni, enlisted and prior enlisted sailors and marines, who reside within the Dallas-Fort Worth community, and this opportunity will allow us to bring our highly-spirited supporters and football family together in one of the most hospitable communities in the country,” said Gladchuk. “We are generally excited and grateful for this invitation.”

Owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl has featured a military theme since 2006. Patriotic overtones recognizing all five branches of the military are prevalent throughout the game. Past Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls have included fan-fest areas showcasing military hardware; flyovers; demonstrations by several of the military's top skydiving teams; on-field induction ceremonies; military bands and honor guards; and the awarding of the annual "Great American Patriot Award" (GAPA) presented by Armed Forces Insurance. Previous recipients include Admiral Thad Allen, Admiral Michael G. “Mike” Mullen, General David H. Petraeus, Preston "Pete" Geren and Gordon England. For additional information about the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, please visit www.ArmedForcesBowl.com, www.Facebook.com/ArmedForcesBowl or www.Twitter.com/ArmedForcesBowl.

Bell Helicopter, a Textron Inc. company, joined the bowl on August 23, 2006, as the title sponsor of the postseason college football game formerly known as the PlainsCapital Fort Worth Bowl (2003, 2004) and the Fort Worth Bowl (2005).  The 2006 season marked the first year for the adoption of the “Armed Forces Bowl” name, making the official title the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl. Bell Helicopter has twice exercised its option for title sponsorship of the game. The current agreement was signed in September 2009 to continue the sponsorship for the 2010 and 2011 games with a two-year option for 2012 and 2013.