Support our mission
 
The Navy Blue Angels, bottom, and Air Force Thunderbirds fly over Fairfax County, Va., before turning to fly over Washington, D.C., May 2, 2020.
The Navy Blue Angels, bottom, and Air Force Thunderbirds fly over Fairfax County, Va., before turning to fly over Washington, D.C., May 2, 2020. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
The Navy Blue Angels, bottom, and Air Force Thunderbirds fly over Fairfax County, Va., before turning to fly over Washington, D.C., May 2, 2020.
The Navy Blue Angels, bottom, and Air Force Thunderbirds fly over Fairfax County, Va., before turning to fly over Washington, D.C., May 2, 2020. (Joe Gromelski/Stars and Stripes)
F/A-18 Hornet aircraft with the Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron fly past the House Rayburn building on Capitol Hill in Washington on Saturday, May 2, 2020.
F/A-18 Hornet aircraft with the Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron fly past the House Rayburn building on Capitol Hill in Washington on Saturday, May 2, 2020. (Carlos Bongioanni/Stars and Stripes)
F/A-18 Hornets with the Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron followed by F-16 Fighting Falcons with the Air Force's Thunderbirds flight demonstration squadron fly past the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Saturday, May 2, 2020.
F/A-18 Hornets with the Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron followed by F-16 Fighting Falcons with the Air Force's Thunderbirds flight demonstration squadron fly past the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Saturday, May 2, 2020. (Carlos Bongioanni/Stars and Stripes)
F/A-18 Hornets with the Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron followed by F-16 Fighting Falcons with the Air Force's Thunderbirds flight demonstration squadron fly past the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Saturday, May 2, 2020.
F/A-18 Hornets with the Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron followed by F-16 Fighting Falcons with the Air Force's Thunderbirds flight demonstration squadron fly past the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Saturday, May 2, 2020. (Carlos Bongioanni/Stars and Stripes)
F/A-18 Hornets with the Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron followed by F-16 Fighting Falcons with the Air Force's Thunderbirds flight demonstration squadron fly over Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 2, 2020.
F/A-18 Hornets with the Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron followed by F-16 Fighting Falcons with the Air Force's Thunderbirds flight demonstration squadron fly over Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 2, 2020. (Carlos Bongioanni/Stars and Stripes)
The Ferry family, from Chantilly, Va., who were in the middle of taking a family photograph, are surprised by a second fly over by the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, in a "salute to frontline COVID-19 responders," as seen near the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial that depicts a flag raising over Iwo Jima, in Arlington, Va., Saturday, May 2, 2020.
The Ferry family, from Chantilly, Va., who were in the middle of taking a family photograph, are surprised by a second fly over by the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, in a "salute to frontline COVID-19 responders," as seen near the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial that depicts a flag raising over Iwo Jima, in Arlington, Va., Saturday, May 2, 2020. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
F/A-18 Hornets with the Navy's Blue Angels followed by F-16 Fighting Falcons with the Air Force's Thunderbirds wrap up an aerial demonstration as they depart  Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 2, 2020.
F/A-18 Hornets with the Navy's Blue Angels followed by F-16 Fighting Falcons with the Air Force's Thunderbirds wrap up an aerial demonstration as they depart Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 2, 2020. (Carlos Bongioanni/Stars and Stripes)
People watch as the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds fly over Washington, in a "salute to frontline COVID-19 responders," as seen from the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, in Arlington, Va., Saturday, May 2, 2020
People watch as the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds fly over Washington, in a "salute to frontline COVID-19 responders," as seen from the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, in Arlington, Va., Saturday, May 2, 2020 (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
Two F-35A Lightning II fighter jets from Luke Air Force Base fly in formation during the Air Force Salutes flyover on Friday May 1, 2020, over Arizona.
Two F-35A Lightning II fighter jets from Luke Air Force Base fly in formation during the Air Force Salutes flyover on Friday May 1, 2020, over Arizona. (Jacob Wongwai/U.S Air Force)

Stars and Stripes is making stories on the coronavirus pandemic available free of charge. See other free reports here. Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here. Please support our journalism with a subscription.

WASHINGTON — Leaving white contrails streaked across a picture-perfect blue sky, powerful military jets with the Navy Blue Angels and Air Force Thunderbirds roared over the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area Saturday in a show of support for those on the front lines in the coronavirus war.

Similar flyovers have been scheduled over the next few weeks for numerous cities across the United States as a way for the military community to express its thanks to health care workers, first responders and other essential personnel.

In a Defense Department press release, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David Goldfein and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Michael Gilday were quoted as saying the aerial demonstrations were a way to show that "we are all in this together and that America's spirit will prevail."

The flyovers will incur no additional cost to taxpayers, according to the DOD release. Normally the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds perform in dozens of air shows over the course of a year. However, many of those shows have been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdowns.

The pilots, however, must meet a minimum number of flight hours required for their profession, so the flyovers allow them to maintain their proficiencies, while also giving a salute to those risking their own lives while serving on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak.

bongioanni.carlos@stripes.com

Migrated
Email

stars and stripes videos


around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up