America Strong: Blue Angels, Thunderbirds Begin Multi-City Flyovers To Salute First Responders

April 27, 2020

In a show of national solidarity, the Navy’s Blue Angels, and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds will conduct a series of multi-city flyovers over the next two weeks.

America Strong is a collaborative salute from the Navy and Air Force to recognize healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential personnel while standing in solidarity with all Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Escambia County had a sneak peak last Tuesday as the Blue Angels and Thurderbirds flew over Escambia County.

“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,” said Cmdr. Brian Kesselring, U.S. Navy Blue Angels commanding officer and flight leader. “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.”

The two demonstration teams will fly over areas of the country hardest hit by COVID-19, starting this week as both joint and individual team flights occurring every one-to-two days until mid-May.

“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 U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. John Caldwell, Thunderbird 1 and mission commander for the 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.”

The Blue Angels, based at Naval Air Station Pensacola, and Thunderbirds, based at Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, typically fly at more than 30 air shows each year to demonstrate American military aviation. This year, both teams have been forced to cancel many performances in response to Department of Defense direction resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.

While America Strong will showcase Department of Defense support to healthcare workers, first responders, military, essential employees, and aims to unite all Americans in the fight against COVID-19, it also fulfills critical training requirements for both teams. Pilots must execute a minimum number of flight hours to maintain proficiency. These flyovers will incur no additional cost to taxpayers.

In order to reach the maximum number of Americans, some portions of America Strong will feature only the Blue Angels or the Thunderbirds, while others will include both teams flying in their signature Delta formations simultaneously.

Both the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds are scheduled to fly over New York City, Trenton, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Tuesday.

Pictured: The Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds flew together over Escambia County last Tuesday. photos by Perry Doggrell and Kristi Barbour, click to enlarge.


11 Responses to “America Strong: Blue Angels, Thunderbirds Begin Multi-City Flyovers To Salute First Responders”

  1. Thomas Leminen on April 29th, 2020 2:43 pm

    Will they fly over Boston

  2. Ronald Easley on April 28th, 2020 8:02 pm

    When the best recognize the best. Thanks to the pilots and crews, thanks to the medical professionals, thanks to the citizens that responded to the shelter in place. What a great country we have!!!!

  3. Pamela Shannon on April 28th, 2020 12:40 pm

    ….don’t want to miss the flyover in Austin, Texas….when? path?

  4. Steve Milner on April 28th, 2020 11:28 am

    Both teams are awesome. Being raised in th Air Force. And an Air Force veteran. I have seen the Thunder Birds at Robins AFB and Moody AFB. And seen the Blue Angeles at Jacksonville FL and Brunswick Ga. Have lots of photos which I have taken. SW Ga around the Albany area has been a hot spot and hit hard. How do we get a fly by for this area. I am also retired first responder. Law Enforcement. Keep doing what you are doing. God Bless America. .

  5. Sarah Beck on April 27th, 2020 7:22 pm

    They are symbols of our freedom here in the United State of America

  6. Linda Hill on April 27th, 2020 4:29 pm

    So proud of both teams!

  7. Rose Reason on April 27th, 2020 1:25 pm

    God bless them.

  8. Debbie Creighton Lee on April 27th, 2020 11:13 am

    So Amazing. So proud. What a tribute!
    God Bless America.

  9. Timothy Bowers on April 27th, 2020 10:52 am

    Would have been nice to know about it! Would have enjoyed seeing them!

  10. Debbie Creighton Lee on April 27th, 2020 9:55 am

    WOW !!!
    How wonderful. So Proud. So Thankful. What a great country we live in !!!
    God Bless America ❤️❤️❤️

  11. Sharon on April 27th, 2020 8:58 am

    This is so awesome! The Air Force and Navy coming together to show support for the workers on the front lines, being an Air Force Bratt, I’ve seen the Thunderbirds perform almost as much as the Blues. They are both amazing!

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