There’s nothing quite like witnessing a formation of U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flying high overhead. This weekend, U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds and U.S. Navy Blue Angels will fly over Tampa in a show of support for first responders. This stop is part of a larger nationwide tour.
“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 in a news release. “We hope to give Americans a touching display of American resolve that honors those serving on the frontline of our fight with COVID-19.”
Residents along the flight path can expect a few seconds of jet noise as the aircraft pass overhead, along with the sight of 12 high-performance aircraft flying close in precise formation.
The Air Force and Navy have partnered with local governments and media outlets to help ensure spectators follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention social distancing guidelines. Both teams are also implementing various measures to maintain personnel and community safety. This includes air-to-air refueling during transit and no scheduled stops en route to reduce potential exposure to the virus.
“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 Blue Angels will fly over Tampa on Saturday, May 2. Official details regarding the flight time are still TBA.