A B-52 Stratofortress from the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale Air Force Base, La., lost an access panel during the flyover to honor individuals on the frontlines of the fight against the new coronavirus in New Orleans that took place on May 1, 2020.
The hand-sized panel from the BUFF became dislodged over New Orleans city limits around 10:30 a.m. local time, wing spokesperson 2nd Lt. Aileen Lauer told Air Force Magazine later the same day.
“The panel landed on private property and was quickly recovered by Air Force personnel, in partnership with local authorities,” she said.
A safety investigation is planned although no one was injured in the incident.
Barksdale Air Force Base and Louisiana Air National Guard pilots flew over medical facilities in New Orleans and Baton Rouge May 1, 2020, to honor and express gratitude for all medical and healthcare professionals, essential employees and volunteers in the fight against COVID-19 as part of the Air Force Salutes program.
The flyover included two B-52 Stratofortresses assigned to the 2nd Bomb Wing and F-15 Strike Eagles from the 159th Fighter Wing based at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, La., which passed over New Orleans and Baton Rouge on Friday.
“We thank the dedicated men and women who are on the frontline combating the COVID-19 health crisis,” said Maj. Gen. James Dawkins Jr., 8th Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center commander, said in a USAF News release. “The special bomber demonstrations are not only a tribute to these individuals, but also serve as a visible reminder of Americans’ solidarity and drive during a very challenging time.”
“The men and women of Barksdale are honored to fly for the healthcare workers who continue to commit themselves during this unprecedented time in our nation,” said Col. Michael Miller, the 2nd Bomb Wing commander. “They are true heroes and we look forward to demonstrating the support our 685,000 total force Airmen in the U.S. Air Force have for healthcare workers in our community and across the nation.”
Photo credit: Senior Airman Lillian Miller / U.S. Air Force
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