U.S. Air Force F-16 Thunderbirds will join the U.S. Navy's F-18 Blue Angels flight demonstration team in saluting COVID-19 responders with formation flights over four U.S. cities on Tuesday. File Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo
April 27 (UPI) -- U.S. Navy and Air Force precision flying teams will perform flights over four cities on Tuesday, in a tribute to COVID-19 responders and essential workers.
The Navy announced on Sunday that its Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron, and the Thunderbirds squadron of the Air Force, will conduct formation flights over New York City; Trenton, N.J.; Newark, N.J. and Philadelphia.
The branches announced 35-minute flyovers in Newark and New York City scheduled for 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, followed by a 10-minute flyover of Newark at 1:45 p.m. and a 20-minute flyover of Philadelphia beginning at 2 p.m.
Six F-16C/D Fighting Falcon and six F-18C/D fighter planes will perform maneuvers.
"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." said Air Force Lt. Col. John Caldwell, mission commander for the Thunderbirds' flyover. "We hope to give Americans a touching display of American resolve that honors those serving on the frontline of our fight with COVID-19."
Under the slogan "America Strong," the mission is the first of several planned, in cities around the country, to honor those involved in the COVID-19 response. President Donald Trump announced the tour last week.
The Navy statement discouraged viewers from traveling or gathering in large groups to view the event, noting that "residents in these areas will be able to see the flyover from the safety of their home-quarantine, and should maintain all social distancing guidelines during this event."