A series of flyovers across the US to honor healthcare workers combating COVID-19, will be conducted by the US Navy Blue Angels and the US Air Force Thunderbirds, President Trump announced on Apr. 22, 2020.
“This is a tribute to them, to our warriors,” Trump told reporters. “Because they are equal warriors to those incredible pilots and all of the fighters that we have for the more traditional fights that we win. And we win. If we want to win, we always win.”
As reported by Military Times, Trump said that the flyovers are part of a mission dubbed Operation America Strong and was the brainchild of service members.
“Operation America Strong was the idea of our great military men and women — the Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels crews who wanted to show support to the American medical workers who, just like military members in a time of war, are fiercely running toward the fight,” Trump said. “It’s going to be great. I want to see those shows. I’ve seen them many times and I can’t get enough of them.”
However, the Pentagon was devising a plan for the flyovers before their development was publicly shared by Trump, The Washington Post reported. Actually, the flyovers are scheduled over the course of the next several weeks, according to a Pentagon memo.
According to the memo, both demonstration teams are set to flyover cities including Washington, Baltimore, New York, Newark, Trenton, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Austin, per the memo. Separately, the Blue Angels will conduct flyovers in at least 13 other cities while the Thunderbirds will fly over at least another eight cities independently.
Moreover, the Thunderbirds already carried out at least two flights that appear to be a part of the tour, once outside of Las Vegas and over the Air Force Academy in Colorado.
“This is just a sincere thank-you. It’s one way to acknowledge those who are pitching in,” the senior military official said, according to the Washington Post.
The Pentagon will absorb hourly operational costs of the squadrons (which run around $60,000) with funding already allocated in the department’s budget.
The administration will also attempt to revive his “Salute to America” event held on the National Mall during the Fourth of July last year. The event was Conceived to honor each of the branches of the military, the event featured military demonstrations and flyovers too.
“Last year was a tremendous success and I would imagine we’ll do it — hopefully, I can use the term ‘forever,’” Trump said Wednesday.
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