MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Tampa — For more than a year, every single moment of Super Bowl LV has been planned. Even down to the very second.
A big part of that planning involved the U.S. Air Force and Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base as they will make history with a flyover that will take precision and coordination.
Three Global Strike Command bombers will take off from their home air bases and then as the National Anthem wraps, they will zip over Raymond James Stadium.
10 Tampa Bay’s Courtney Robinson spoke one-on-one with MacDill AFB Commander Colonel Ben Jonsson.
Col Jonsson says flying for the Air Force is the best job. He says the sacrifice, especially amid a pandemic, that his fellow airmen and airwomen make is not lost on him.
“In the midst of all of that, your Air Force has been fighting through COVID-19 to make sure that our air space is secure,” he said.
Now the Air Force will show off its power and patriotism with a historic flyover.
“To be able to demonstrate what we’ve been doing around the clock overhead Super Bowl LV, we hope it brings great strength to the American people,” he said.
MacDill is one of the shining stars of Super Bowl LV as the US Air Force puts on a historic “Trifecta Bomber Flyover.”
A B-52 from Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota, A B-1 from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota and a B-2 from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri will take off from their home bases and join up over the United States.
MacDill’s pride, the KC-135 Stratotanker, will refuel each bomber mid-air before they get into formation and fly over Raymond James Stadium.
“They don’t go long-range, they don’t go global without the KC-135 standing here behind me,” Jonsson explained about the Global Strike Command bombers.
“We are the ones that actually refuel them over the oceans around the world to make sure that we can touch an adversary any place in the world and they do that because of air refueling capability,” he said.
Jonsson says expect noise and power. He flew a B-1 in combat.
“I just came back from two years deployed in the middle east. We got to fly with them in combat in Afghanistan, over Syria, and really seeing the incredible capabilities of that aircraft to do precision strikes against the Taliban when we were really trying to get the Islamic caliphate destroyed and out of Iraq and Syria and it was enormously successful.”
Normally, you might be used to seeing and hearing F-15’s as they flyover stadiums. They are big, they have power and they are loud. These bombers are bigger and louder. Jonsson and others say be prepared for the noise, but also know that this flyover will rock Ray Jay and Tampa Bay!
“You will feel it, you will feel it and I believe it’ll give you chills just the same. It’ll obviously with the bomber, be a bigger presence and it’ll be really, really something to behold,” he said.
It will be history in the making with some of the Air Force’s most elite in the cockpits and on the ground elite athletes ready to kick 2021 into a better place.
And if you haven’t caught on yet, the B1, B2 and B52 all add up to 55 as in SUPER BOWL LV!! Talk about detailed planning!
MacDill will also host children from all backgrounds on Thursday on base for an educational opportunity to see a B-1 bomber up close, touch it and talk with the pilots and crew.
As for the flight path for the flyover, the Air Force is not releasing that information.
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