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MacDill Air Force Base to perform Tampa Bay flyovers Friday

Air crew members prepare a KC-135 Stratotanker for flight during an operational readiness exercise Oct. 24, 2019, at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

SENIOR AIRMAN CALEB NUNEZ/U.S. AIR FORCE

By ILEANA NAJARRO | Tampa Bay Times | Published: May 12, 2020

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TAMPA, Fla. (Tribune News Service) — To honor Tampa Bay’s front-line healthcare workers in the pandemic, MacDill Air Force Base will launch two KC-135 Stratotankers on Friday morning set to fly over 12 major hospitals in the region.

“This community goes out of their way to honor our sacrifices,” said Air Force Col. Stephen Snelson, commander of the 6th Air Refueling Wing. “This is an honor for us to be able to display our gratitude to these warriors who protect our base and this community from this horrible virus.”

The KC-135s will depart from MacDill at 10:30 a.m. and head south toward the Skyway Bridge, according to a release. After a short delay, the formation will head back northward along Tampa Bay, then turn south and follow Interstate 75 to Sarasota, and then turn north again through St Petersburg before returning to the base over downtown. Some of the hospitals in the flight path include Tampa General Hospital, Brandon Regional Hospital and the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System.

Active-duty and reserve teams from the 6th Air Refueling Wing and the 927th Air Refueling Wing stationed at MacDill will pilot the flight.

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