Blue Angels, Thunderbirds to salute Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, Georgia COVID-19 responders

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The military's elite flight demonstration squadrons, the Navy's Blue Angels and the Air Force's Thunderbirds, gave a salute to health care workers and others on the front lines in the fight against the coronavirus. A total of 12 fighter jets, six of the Air Force's F-16C/D Fighting Falcons and half a dozen F-18 C/D Hornets streaked over New York City, Newark, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island before heading to Trenton, N.J., and Philadelphia. (FEMA photograph by K.C. Wilsey)
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The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, and the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, will honor frontline COVID-19 responders and essential workers with formation flights over Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta May 2.

“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 will conduct these 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 COVID-19 pandemic.”

Demonstration aircraft with the United States Air Force Thunderbirds and United States Navy Blue Angels perform a flyover of the East River in New York City as well as over hospitals in Brooklyn and Manhattan to show appreciation to the thousands of healthcare workers, essential employees, and other first responders who are at the front line of the battle against COVID-19. (Air Force photograph by Staff Sgt. Christopher S. Muncy)

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.

Residents along the flight path can expect a few moments of jet noise as the aircraft pass overhead, along with the sight of 12 high-performance aircraft flying close in precise formation.

Flyovers in Baltimore will start at 11:30 a.m., EDT, and last approximately 15 minutes. Flyovers in Washington, D.C., and surrounding communities will start at 11:45 a.m., EDT, and last approximately 20 minutes.

Flyovers in Atlanta will start at 1:35 p.m., EDT, and last approximately 25 minutes.

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. They should also refrain from traveling to landmarks, hospitals and gathering in large groups to view the flyover. A detailed flight route will be released on the day prior to the flyover.

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.
 

(Navy photograph by PO3 Brendan Fitzgerald)

(Navy photograph by PO3 Omar Rubi)

The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, and the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, honor frontline COVID-19 responders and essential workers with formation flight over New York City. A formation of six F/A-18C/D Hornet aircraft and six F-16C/D Fighting Falcon, conduct the flyovers as a collaborative salute to healthcare workers, first responders, military and other essential personnel. (Navy photograph by PO3 Brendan Fitzgerald)

 
 
 
 
 
 
U. S. Army Pfc. Miranda Ray, 50th Chemical Company, New Jersey Army National Guard, takes a picture during a flyover at University Hospital in Newark, N.J., April 28, 2020. (Army National Guard photograph by Spec. Michael Schwenk)

 
 
 
 
 
 
(Navy photograph by Lt. Cmdr. Aaron Hicks)

The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, and U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, honored frontline COVID-19 first responders and essential workers with formation flights over New York City, New Jersey and Philadelphia on April 28, 2020. (Navy photograph by Lt. Cmdr. Aaron Hicks)

 
 
 
 
 
 
The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, and the Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, fly over Philadelphia during the America Strong flyover, April 28, 2020. America Strong is a collaborative salute from the Navy and Air Force to recognize healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential personnel in a show of national solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Navy photograph by PO1 Chad M. Butler)

 
 
 

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