Flight squadrons from the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy will join forces Tuesday to salute first responders and essential workers who are continuing to perform their duties despite the dangers of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy’s Blue Angels will carry out formation flights over New York City, Newark, N.J.; Trenton, N.J., and Philadelphia, according to a press release.
“We are truly excited to take to the skies with our Navy counterparts for a nation-wide tribute to the men and women keeping our communities safe.” Air Force Lt. Col. John Caldwell said. “We hope to give Americans a touching display of American resolve that honors those serving on the frontline of our fight with COVID-19.”
Caldwell will serve as Thunderbird 1 and mission commander for the flyover, which was given the social media hashtag #AmericaStrong.
Cmdr. Brian Kesselring, Blue Angels commanding officer and flight leader, praised the dedication of those on the front lines and said it is an honor to highlight their perseverance and sacrifice.
“We are incredibly honored to have the opportunity to salute those working on the frontline of the COVID-19 response, we are in awe of your strength and resilience,” he said in a statement. “Thank you to all of those in essential industries keeping our nation moving forward. We will get through this. We are all in this together.”
This mission is one of several planned for the upcoming weeks, according to the release. Flyovers in Newark, New York City and the surrounding boroughs will start at noon ET and last for around 35 minutes.
Flyovers in Trenton will start at 1:45 p.m. ET and last approximately 10 minutes, while flyovers in Philadelphia will start at 2 p.m. ET and last around 20 minutes.