At about 12:10 p.m. Wednesday, the Minnesota National Guard along with the 934th Air Wing of the Air Force Reserve will be conducting a flyover of M Health Fairview Ridges in Burnsville in recognition of those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic response as part of Operation American Resolve.
“Last week’s flyovers were an opportunity for us to show our appreciation for those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 fight,” said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, the adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard and an Apple Valley resident. “We chose several hospitals as flyover points, but it is truly only a symbolic gesture, as the intent isn’t to honor only those facilities, but all the essential workers statewide. Whether you are a medical provider or a meat packing employee; a teacher or gas station attendant; an emergency responder or a garbage collector, your work and the care you provide have kept our state safe and functioning. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.”
“We are proud to extend our gratitude across Minnesota and honor those who have been working non-stop to keep our community safe by thanking them with this series of flyovers,” said Col. Chris Lay, 934th Airlift Wing commander. “Together with our Air National Guard partners, we want Minnesotans to know that this American Resolve is a tribute to the spirit instilled within our Nation and we will prevail beyond this difficult time.”
The flights scheduled for Wednesday are the second and likely final part of a statewide 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 and C-130 Hercules aircraft from the Minnesota National Guard’s 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, and the 133rd Airlift Wing out of Fort Snelling in Saint Paul, as well as from the Air Force Reserve’s 934th Airlift Wing.
“Our crews must fly regularly to maintain their proficiency,” said Col. James Cleet, 133rd Airlift 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.”