Detroit, Michigan in the Midwestern U.S. is one of the hardest hit regions in the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. On Tuesday, May 12 and Wednesday, May 13, they’re going to get a morale boost in the form of some air support. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels and Michigan’s own A-10C Thunderbolt II’s and KC-135 Stratotankers from the 127th Wing at Selfridge ANGB will conduct America Strong flyovers of the city’s suburbs and downtown areas, including the Detroit River.
The Blue Angels are scheduled to enter the area on May 12, Tuesday beginning at 11:30 AM local time, flying east/northeast toward downtown Detroit from Ypsilanti roughly paralleling the I-94 freeway to the north as they fly northeast toward downtown Detroit and the riverfront. Between 11:47 AM and 11:51 AM, the six-aircraft formation with additional camera aircraft will fly a large circuit over downtown Detroit, then exit the flyover area to the southwest over the suburb of Allen Park. Spectators viewing the flyover are reminded to maintain safe social distancing to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus while viewing the flyovers.
The following day, on Wednesday, May 13, it is the turn of hometown heroes from Michigan’s own 127th Wing of the Air National Guard flying out of Selfridge ANGB in Mt. Clemens who will do the flying. As part of their normal training schedule, four Republic A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, commonly called “Warthogs” and two Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers will fly over cities throughout Michigan and the downtown Detroit area as a salute to first responders and health care workers in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday, Brig. Gen. Rolf E. Mammen, Commander of the 127th Wing, told media at Selfridge ANGB base:
“As part of some of some our training missions we’re going to go do some flyovers of some cities and salute our first responders and our people that are out there working hard for the COVID response. This is a great thing for us at Selfridge. What’s important is, it’s about the men and women that are out there on the front lines. This is our opportunity to thank them. Just in the military itself, in the National Guard itself, we have almost a thousand soldiers and airmen who are engaged in the COVID response as we speak. They’re out there either working in the food banks, or that at TCF Center working the hospital or up in the Upper Peninsula doing testing, they’re doing some really, really great work for our community. But, at the same token, you have all the nurses and the first responders doing the hard work and this is our opportunity to salute them as part of one of our training missions, so we’re really excited about it.”
According the Selfridge ANGB public affairs, Michigan’s 127th Wing includes 1,700 Airmen who support operations in the A-10C Thunderbolt II and KC-135 Stratotanker. As one of the largest and most unique National Guard bases in the U.S., Selfridge ANGB hosts 47 tenant organizations and nearly 4,500 personnel from all branches of the military and numerous Department of Homeland Security organizations.
Thanks to Selfridge ANGB and 127th Wing Public Affairs and Mr. Taz Joarder for assistance on this story.