TAMPA, Fla. — Look up to the skies this weekend and you'll see a colorful show of support for front line health care workers.
The Blue Angels will fly over Tampa on Saturday, May 2, according to city spokesperson Ashley Bauman. U.S. Navy Region Southeast spokesperson Suzanne M. Speight said she spoke to the Blue Angels team about the "Tampa flyover" and spokesperson LtJG Chelsea Dietlin sent the following statement:
For America Strong schedule updates, please follow the @AFThunderbirds and @Blue Angels on Twitter. Please note, all of our routes are still changing. We will announce our next flyover 48 hrs prior with more specific route information 24 hrs prior. Thank you.
The time for the flyover has not yet been announced. Based on the statement from the Blue Angels, Tampa can expect more details on the flyover on Thursday and Friday.
The Blue Angels are based out of Pensacola, Florida, and include 16 volunteer officers. During their aerobatics, the Blue Angels fly six F/A-18 Hornets through loops, rolls, tight turns and the iconic tight Diamond Formation at a lower speed of about 400 mph.
During the Tampa flyover, those in the city will get to hear the roar of the group's deep blue jets as the precision pilots fly in support of local health care workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The flyover is part of a nationwide tour with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, named "America Strong." President Donald Trump announced the initiative, saying the teams would fly to "champion national unity" amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"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 Department of Defense said the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds will perform over areas that have been hit hardest by the coronavirus beginning this week. Some cities will see both times while others, like Tampa, will see either the Blue Angels or the Thunderbirds.
Those in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania will be the first to see the F-16C/D Fighting Falcons and F/A-18 Hornets in action on Tuesday.
Here is Tuesday's flyover schedule:
New York City (and surrounding Burroughs): 12 p.m. (EST), lasting for 35 minutes
Trenton, NJ: 1:45 p.m. (EST), lasting for 10 minutes.
Philadelphia, PA: 2 p.m. (EST), lasting 20 minutes
While people will head outside in these areas to see and hear the show, the Navy and the Air Force say all quarantine and social distancing guidelines still apply. People are urged not to gather in large groups or at local landmarks.
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