Blue Angels Plan 'Fly Over Detroit' Wednesday To Thank Essential Workers

Blue Angels
Photo credit (Credit: U.S. Navy)

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(WWJ) Look up! The Blue Angels will be paying tribute to health care workers, first responders and all other essential workers this Wednesday.

The 'Fly Over Detroit' is among the series of flyovers by The Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds happening in the next two weeks. The demonstration team are flying over areas of the U.S. hardest-hit by COVID-19, as both joint and individual team flights occurring every one-to-two days until mid-May.

The Navy and Air Force say "America Strong" is a salute to recognize our essential worker heroes, while standing in solidarity with all Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“We’re excited to fly over cities across America as our way of saying thanks to the healthcare workers, first responders, and all the people who selflessly run into the breach working to keep America strong,” said Gen. Dave Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and Adm. Michael Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations.

“This is also our way of showing that we are all in this together and that America’s spirit will prevail.” 

The Air Force and Navy have partnered with local governments and media outlets to help ensure spectators follow CDC social distancing guidelines.  Both teams are also implementing various measures to maintain personnel and community safety.  This includes air-to-air refueling during transit and no scheduled stops en route to reduce potential exposure to the virus.

The Blue Angels, based at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, and Thunderbirds, based at Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, typically fly at more than 30 air shows each year to demonstrate American military aviation. This year, both teams have been forced to cancel many performances in response to Department of Defense direction resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.

While America Strong will showcase Department of Defense support to healthcare workers, first responders, military, essential employees, and aims to unite all Americans in the fight against COVID-19, it also fulfills critical training requirements for both teams. Pilots must execute a minimum number of flight hours to maintain proficiency. These flyovers will incur no additional cost to taxpayers.

A time for the Detroit flyover hasn't been released. Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 for updates. 

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story stated the Thunderbirds would also be included in the Detroit flyover. WWJ has since learned only the Blue Angels will be flying over Detroit Wednesday.