Minnesota National Guard to Conduct Flyovers Honoring those on COVID-19 Frontlines

May 6, 2020 (ST. PAUL, Minn.) – The Minnesota National Guard will be conducting statewide flyovers in recognition of those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic response.

“As part of a nationwide Air Force initiative, the Minnesota Air National Guard will fly over communities throughout the state,” said Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, the Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard.  “These flyovers are our way of showing solidarity for those who have stepped forward to serve during this pandemic.  This is a small way that we can salute those at the forefront of the COVID-19 response for their service and sacrifice.”

The flights scheduled for Wednesday are part of a nationwide 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 aircraft from the 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, and C-130 Hercules aircraft from the 133rd Air Wing out of Fort Snelling in Saint Paul.

“Our crews must fly regularly to maintain their proficiency,” said Colonel James Cleet, 133rd Air 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.”

The flight path for Wednesday will reach the following communities:

Brainerd, Coon Rapids, Fridley, Little Falls, Minneapolis, Monticello, Hastings, Robbinsdale, Rochester, Saint Cloud, Saint Louis Park, Saint Paul, Stillwater, White Bear Lake, and Woodbury.  Flyovers are set to fly near local medical facilities in each community. Other sites in the state will be flown over during future flyovers planned for later in the month.

“Our Guardsmen live and work in these cities.  The Minnesota National Guard has units and facilities in 58 communities throughout the state.  They have always supported us, this is a small way we can show that we support them too,” said Colonel Christopher Blomquist, 148th Fighter Wing Commander, “thank you for your service.”

These flyovers are incorporated into previously scheduled training missions.

There is potential for the times to flex based on the training missions, weather and/or airspace availability. A variance of a few minutes either side of the scheduled time may be unavoidable. If there is a weather delay or cancellation an update to the advisory will be provided.

All times are subject to change. The flyover will also be visible to areas surrounding the flight path, we recommend rooftops and open areas adjacent to buildings for best view.

For more information, contact the Minnesota National Guard public affairs office at 282-4410 or mn.ng.web@mail.mil.

– About the Minnesota National Guard –

Established in 1856 and headquartered in St. Paul, the Minnesota National Guard has more than 13,000 soldiers and airmen who serve in 61 communities across the state. The citizen-soldiers and airmen of the Minnesota National Guard are ‘Always Ready’ to fight the nation’s wars, protect the country, respond to state emergencies and contribute to local communities. For more information about the Minnesota National Guard, visit https://mnngpublicmain.azurewebsites.us.