Look! up in the sky! It’s, its …
It’s the Missouri Air National Guard’s 131st Bomb Wing conducting a B-2 flyover to honor medical and healthcare professionals, essential employees and volunteers in the fight against COVID-19 on the afternoon and evening of Friday, May 8.
The flyover of Cape Girardeau is tentatively scheduled for 4:50 p.m. Cape Girardeau is one of six Missouri cities slated for flyovers.
The flyovers are part of an Air Force-wide effort to honor first responders as they battle the COVID-19 pandemic, said Col. Ken Eaves, commander of the 131st Bomb Wing.
“We greatly appreciate the selfless service and sacrifices of our medical professionals and other COVID-19 essential workers,” Eaves said. “As Guardsmen, we’ve been honored to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with these incredible professionals. Currently, hundreds of Missouri Air and Army National Guardsmen are mobilized to support these efforts.”
During the flyovers, all residents are encouraged to follow strict social distancing guidelines and refrain from gathering in large viewing groups.
The flyovers are part of the Air Force’s Operation American Resolve. The program honors the heroism of medical professionals, healthcare workers and first responders working tirelessly to combat the pandemic. Dozens of similar missions have been conducted across the country in recent weeks, including a flight made up of B-2s and A-10s flown by Airmen from the 509th Bomb Wing and 442nd Fighter Wing, respectively, over Kansas City on April 28.
The U.S. Air Force performs almost 1,000 flyovers each year, to include air shows, national-level sporting events, and any event in support of a patriotic holiday. Flyovers are fully functional training missions, designed to maintain the lethality and readiness of Air Force pilots and maintainers. They are conducted at no additional cost to taxpayers and are incorporated into existing flying schedules.
Based at Whiteman Air Force Base and Jefferson Barracks, the 131st Bomb Wing is the only National Guard wing to fly the B-2 Spirit through as a classic unit association with the active duty 509th Bomb Wing.
The flyover will also happen over Camdenton, St. Louis, Columbia, Jefferson City and Springfield.