Luke, Arizona ANG salute Phoenix

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Three F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing fly in formation over residential neighborhoods during the Air Force Salutes flyover May 1, 2020, in Phoenix, Ariz. The F-35s were apart of the 15 aircraft formation, including F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 56th FW and 944th FW, and a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 161st Air Refueling Wing as a Total Force salute to each American serving on the frontlines in the fight against Coronavirus Disease 2019. Air Force Salutes flyovers are a way for the U.S. Air Force to show appreciation to the thousands of heroes at the front line battling COVID-19. (Air Force photograph by Staff Sgt. Alexander Cook)
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Luke Air Force Base and the Arizona’s Air National Guard honored Arizona front line responders with a 15-aircraft flyover today, May 1, 2020.

F-35 Lightning II and F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from the 56th Fighter Wing and 944th Fighter Wing and a KC-135 Stratotanker from and 161st Air Refueling Wing flew over 11 cities in the Phoenix metropolitan area as a tour de force in a Total Force effort comprised of active duty, Air Force Reserve and ANG Airmen working together to raise spirits and honor front-line workers during the Coronavirus Disease-2019 pandemic.

“This community flyover was an opportunity to extend our heartfelt gratitude and salute all of the healthcare workers, first responders, military members and essential personnel who are hard at work on the front lines fighting the coronavirus,” said Brig. Gen. Todd Canterbury, 56th Fighter Wing commander. “This training event also showcased our continued ability to integrate with our total force partners from the 944th Fighter Wing and the 161st Air Refueling Wing.”

Pilots in the formation included the commander, vice commander and operations group commander of the 56th Fighter Wing, the commander and operations group commander of the 944th Fighter Wing, and leadership from all of the fighter squadrons at Luke.

Five F-16C Fighting Falcons line the flight line May 1, 2020, in preparation for takeoff from Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. The F-16 was one of 15 aircraft including F-35s and F-16s from the 56th FW and 944th FWs, and a KC-135 from the 161st Air Refueling Wing as a Total Force salute to each American serving on the frontlines in the fight against Coronavirus Disease 2019. (Air Force photograph by Staff Sgt. Amber Carter)

“From all the pilots and aircrew flying and ground personnel supporting this undertaking we wish Arizona a speedy recovery from COVID-19,” said Lt. Col. Jason Bartels, 56th Fighter Wing Program Integration Office chief and lead operations planner for the event. “We are truly grateful to live in such a wonderful state with its unwavering support for our mission to train the world’s best fighter pilots.”

The aircraft flew over 11 cities, 20 hospitals and multiple major landmarks in the area. The flight was part of a larger Air Force movement to honor and show the Department of Defense’s respect to all front-line workers in this challenging time. Defending the homeland has taken a new shape, and the Air Force is proud to serve alongside first responders and essential personnel in the COVID-19 response efforts.

“Our frontline medical workers are heroes,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. “Today’s flyover was a perfect symbol of the strength, resolve, and unity of our doctors, nurses and emergency responders have displayed in the fight against COVID-19. Arizona is grateful to them and Luke Air Force Base for this tremendous recognition.”

Air Force Salutes flyovers are a way for the U.S. Air Force to show appreciation to the thousands of American heroes who are at the front line battling COVID-19 and providing the support that America needs. Luke AFB conducted Luke Salutes at no additional cost to taxpayers; it served as training for the pilots.

“Thank you to everyone in the valley for showing your support to our flyby while keeping frontline responders in your hearts,” said Canterbury. “Our community support throughout the valley remains second to none.”
 
 
 
 
 
 

F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-35A Lightning II aircraft, assigned to Luke Air Force Base, fly in formation during the Air Force Salutes flyover May 1, 2020, over parts of Arizona. (Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Leala Marquez)

 
 
 
 
 
 
Medical professionals from St. Joseph’s Hospital watch as aircraft from Luke Air Force Base and the Arizona Air National Guard 161st Air Refueling Wing flyby metro Phoenix May 1, 2020. (Air Force photograph by Tech. Sgt. Clinton Atkins)

 
 
 
 
 
 
Two F-16 Fighting Falcons and two F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing prepare to land at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., after participating in a formation flight over metro Phoenix May 1, 2020. (Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Brooke Moeder)

 
 
 
 
 
 
F-35A Lightning IIs piloted by Brig. Gen. Todd Canterbury, 56th Fighter Wing commander, and Col. Jim Greenwald, 944th FW commander, both assigned to Luke Air Force Base, fly in formation during the Air Force Salutes flyover May 1, 2020, over Arizona. (Air Force photograph by Senior Airman Jacob Wongwai)

 
 
 
 
 
 
Three F-35A Lightning IIs fly in formation over the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport during the Air Force Salutes flyover May 1, 2020, in Phoenix, Ariz. (Air Force photograph by Staff Sgt. Alexander Cook)

 
 
 
 
 
 
Seven F-35A Lightning Ils and seven F-16 Fighting Falcons fly in formation over Luke Air Force Base during the Air Force Salutes flyover May 1, 2020, at Luke AFB, Ariz. (Air Force photograph by Staff Sgt. Alexander Cook)

 
 
 
 
 
 
Seven F-35A Lightning IIs, along with seven F-16 Fighting Falcons and a KC-135 Stratotanker fly in formation as part of the Air Force Salutes flyover May 1, 2020, in Phoenix, Ariz. (Air Force photograph by Staff Sgt. Alexander Cook)

 
 
 

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