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149th Fighter Wing performs flyovers May 11 in show of support of COVID-19 frontline workers

By Mindy Bloem | 149th Fighter Wing Public Affairs | May 11, 2020

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas —

The Air National Guard’s 149th Fighter Wing will fly over hospitals and medical support facilities in parts of Corpus Christi, Laredo and Lubbock May 11 as a way to honor the selfless sacrifice of all the health care workers, first responders, military and other personnel at the forefront of this crisis.

“We wanted to show our appreciation to all the frontline responders who are out there every day combating this virus,” said Col. Raul Rosario, 149th Fighter Wing commander. “As Guardsmen, who live and work in many of these local areas, we value the dedication of those who tirelessly serve our communities to help make what we do to defend the nation possible.

“This flyover is just one way to recognize those serving in locations who may not get the opportunity to watch the demo team flyovers planned for some of the bigger cities,” Rosario added.

Beginning May11, one team of four F-16s will fly over Covenant Health Center and Texas Tech Health Center between 9:40 to 9:50 a.m. Another team of four will fly over Laredo Medical Center between 1:10 to 1:20 p.m., then continue to CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital between 1:40 to 1:50 p.m.

They will fly southwest to northeast over Covenant Health Center, just north of Maxey Park between 22nd and 24th Street, and between Quaker Avenue and Nashville, then southwest to northeast over UMC (Texas Tech Health Center), north of 10th, south of 5th, between Texas Tech Parkway and Joliet Avenue before returning to base.

The second team of four F-16s will fly over Laredo Medical Center at 1:10 to 1:20, flying north to south over Laredo Medical Center between East Bustamante Street and Highway 59, and between North Meadows Avenue and Foster Avenue.

The four jets will then continue flying to CHRISTUS Spohn Hospital in Corpus Christi between 1:40 to 1:50 p.m. and west to east over CHRISTUS Spohn between Buford Street and Hospital Street, and between 25th Street and South 19th Street. 

“We know most people love to watch flyovers, and people could probably use a boost right now,” said Col. Matt Jensen, 149th Operations Group commander. “Fortunately for us, these flyovers also provide important proficiency training to our pilots, so it is a way to do something nice for the community through already-allotted flight hours at no extra cost to the taxpayer.”

These flyovers are part of Operation American Resolve, which is intended to lift morale in cities across America as our nation undergoes this challenging time. People in areas where these flyovers occur are encouraged to look up from their homes or establishments and enjoy the display of gratitude and solidarity, while keeping in mind social distancing and personal protective measures.

(NOTE: The routing is pre-planned by Air Traffic Control and subject to change. Follow the 149th Facebook page for any possible last-minute flight adjustments.  Observers are also encouraged to tag our organizations and use the following hashtags: #AFFlyover #AirForceSalutes #AmericaStrong.)