Thunderbirds, Blue Angels fly over NY, NJ to honor COVID-19 front-line workers

Coronavirus
Thunderbirds, Blue Angels to fly over NYC, Philadelphia with more cities to follow
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NEW YORK — The Thunderbirds and Blue Angels flew in formation over New York City Tuesday in honor of those on the front lines of the COVID-19pandemic.

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“Operation America Strong” will begin at about 12 p.m. Eight U.S. Air Force Thunderbird F-16 Jets with red, white and blue markings, and seven U.S. Navy Blue Angel Jets will be conducting a flyover across New York City and New Jersey.

The path begins near the George Washington Bridge, over parts of Manhattan and Newark, New Jersey, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, Long Island and parts of Westchester County.

The aircrafts will fly at approximately 1,500 feet and will last about 40 minutes.

Those along the path of the shows can see the formations from their homes, and are encouraged to maintain social distancing guidelines.

Blue Angels and Thunderbirds are also expected to fly over Trenton, New Jersey and Philadelphia on Tuesday.

“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.”

“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 Navy and Air Force said that Tuesday’s shows will be among the first of many to be performed throughout the nation.

The Pentagon said a formation of six F-16C/D Fighting Flacon and six F-18C/D Hornet aircraft will conduct these flyovers as a collaborative salute from the Air Force and Navy to recognize healthcare workers, first responders, military, and other essential personnel while standing in solidarity with all Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Justin Boggs, a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk, contributed to this report. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook .

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