BALTIMORE — The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, and the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, honored frontline COVID-19 responders and essential workers with formation flights over hospitals in Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Atlanta on Saturday.
“America Strong is a way for both teams to show appreciation to the thousands of doctors, nurses, first responders and essential workers out there serving on the frontline day-in and day-out,” said Cmdr. Brian Kesselring, U.S. Navy Blue Angels commanding officer and flight leader for the flyover. “This is an extraordinary and unprecedented time but we will get through this. We are all in this together.”
A formation of 6 F-16C/D Fighting Falcon and 6 F/A-18C/D Hornet aircraft conducted the flyovers as a collaborative salute to healthcare workers, first responders, military, and other essential personnel while standing in solidarity with all Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are honored to fly over these cities in a display of national unity and support for the men and women keeping our communities safe.” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. John Caldwell, Thunderbird commander and lead pilot. “These flyovers are a gesture of goodwill on behalf of the entire Department of Defense to the heroes of the COIVD-19 pandemic.”
This mission, the second of several planned over the coming weeks, is the culmination of more than a month of planning and coordination between the two teams and numerous city and government offices.
The teams welcome and encourage viewers to tag the demonstration teams at @AFThunderbirds and @BlueAngels the flyover on social media with the hashtag #AmericaStrong and #Inthistogether.