BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. --
Barksdale Air Force Base and Louisiana Air National Guard pilots are scheduled to fly 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 will include 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 will pass 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. “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.”
New Orleans residents can expect to see two B-52s escorted by F-15s fighter aircraft in the air above New Orleans at approximately 9:30 a.m. Residents of Baton Rouge can expect to see the same aircraft above their city at approximately 12 p.m. The flights will last 10 to 20 minutes in each city as they fly over major regional medical centers. All residents are encouraged to follow strict social distancing guidelines and refrain from gathering in large viewing groups.
Area residents will also be able to join Barksdale Air Force Base during this event from the comfort of their homes by visiting www.facebook.com/TeamBarksdale for ongoing coverage.
The U.S. Air Force performs almost 1,000 flyovers each year, to include air shows, national-level sporting events, and any event in support of a patriotic holiday. Flyovers are fully functional training missions, designed to maintain the lethality and readiness of Air Force pilots and maintainers; they are conducted at no additional cost to taxpayers and are incorporated into existing flying schedules.
Final route times will be released closer to the flyover date.
Col. David Gordon, 2nd Operations Group commander, will be available for media interviews Wednesday, April 29, at 3 p.m. If interested, contact the 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs office for details at firstname.lastname@example.org or 318-456-1015.
For more information, follow @TeamBarksdale and @AirForceGlobalStrikeCommand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For questions, please call the 2nd Bomb Wing Public Affairs office at 318-456-1015.