Navy: Blue Angels, Thunderbirds to visit Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia Saturday


The Navy’s Blue Angels and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds conduct “a collaborative salute” to honor those battling the COVID-19 pandemic with a flyover New York and New Jersey on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

WASHINGTON (WAVY) — The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will make their way to the Mid-Atlantic Saturday, May 2, the Navy said.

The jets will honor frontline COVID-19 first responders and essential workers. The demonstration, called “Operation America Strong,” is intended to be a morale-boost.

The news release did not specify what parts of Virginia would see the jets, but said they would fly over Washington D.C. and “surrounding communities.”

Last week, Norfolk and Virginia Beach were among the cities the Pentagon listed for the Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornets flyover, although a schedule has not been released. The other cities include Miami, Tampa, Tallahassee and Jacksonville in Florida; Detroit, Chicago, Indianapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, Kingsville and Corpus Christi in Texas.

It’s unclear whether the flights on Saturday will come to Hampton Roads, or whether that could happen on another date.

A detailed flight route for Saturday will be released on Friday.

“America Strong is a way for both teams to show appreciation to the thousands of doctors, nurses, first responders and essential workers out there serving on the frontline day-in and day-out,” said Cmdr. Brian Kesselring, U.S. Navy Blue Angels commanding officer and flight leader for the flyover. “This is an extraordinary and unprecedented time but we will get through this. We are all in this together.”

Here’s the schedule for Saturday:

  • Flyovers in Baltimore will start at 11:30 a.m. (EDT) and last approximately 15 minutes.
  • Flyovers in Washington D.C. and surrounding communities will start at 11:45 a.m. (EDT) and last approximately 20 minutes.
  • Flyovers in Atlanta will start at 1:35 p.m. (EDT) and last approximately 25 minutes.

Residents in the areas will hear jet noise as the aircraft fly nearby.

“Residents in these areas will be able to see the flyover from the safety of their home-quarantine and should maintain all social distancing guidelines during this event. They should also refrain from traveling to landmarks, hospitals and gathering in large groups to view the flyover,” the Navy said.

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