The Minnesota National Guard will conduct statewide flyovers Wednesday in recognition of those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic response.
“As part of a nationwide Air Force initiative, the Minnesota Air National Guard will fly over communities throughout the state,” said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, the Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard. “These flyovers are our way of showing solidarity for those who have stepped forward to serve during this pandemic. This is a small way that we can salute those at the forefront of the COVID-19 response for their service and sacrifice.”
The flights scheduled for Wednesday are part of a nationwide effort to recognize health care workers, emergency responders, food industry and other essential workers throughout the state that have done their part to keep the state functioning during the stay-at-home order. The aircraft flying these missions will be combinations of F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from the 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, and C-130 Hercules aircraft from the 133rd Air Wing out of Fort Snelling in Saint Paul.
“Our crews must fly regularly to maintain their proficiency,” said Colonel James Cleet, 133rd Air Wing Commander, “This is an outstanding way to both train our aircrew and to recognize those in our community that are on the frontline working hard for the citizens of Minnesota.”
The Mississippi River Corridor flight, two F-16s out of Duluth, will fly over Maple Grove Hospital and North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale between 11:20 and 11:35 a.m. The aircraft will be flying in from the northeast.
The Metro Flight, featuring a C-130 and two F-16s, is scheduled to fly over Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, coming in from the northeast, between 11:05 and 11:20 a.m., North Memorial and Maple Grove Hospital between 11:10 and 11:25 a.m. The flight pattern is from the southwest over North Memorial and from the southeast over Maple Grove Hospital.
These flyovers are incorporated into previously scheduled training missions. There is potential for the times to flex based on the training missions, weather and/or airspace availability. A variance of a few minutes either side of the scheduled time may be unavoidable. If there is a weather delay or cancellation an update to the advisory will be provided.
The flyover will also be visible to areas surrounding the flight path, the National Guard recommend rooftops and open areas adjacent to buildings for the best view.
For more information about the Minnesota National Guard, visit https://MinnesotaNationalGuard.ng.mil.