Barksdale AFB B-52 bombers, LANG F-15s to fly over New Orleans and Baton Rouge in salute to COVID-19 essential workers

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U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress aircraft from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., arrive at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, April 9, 2016 in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community, and as needed in the region. The B-52 offers diverse capabilities including the delivery of precision weapons. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Nathan Lipscomb)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. – Barksdale Air Force Base and Louisiana Air National Guard pilots are scheduled to fly over medical facilities in New Orleans and Baton Rouge May 1, to honor and express gratitude for all medical and healthcare professionals, essential employees and volunteers in the fight against COVID-19 as part of the Air Force Salutes program.

The flyover will include two B-52H Stratofortresses assigned to the 2nd Bomb Wing and two F-15 Strike Eagles from the 159th Fighter Wing based at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans, Louisiana, which will pass over New Orleans and Baton Rouge on Friday.

“We thank the dedicated men and women who are on the frontline combating the COVID-19 health crisis,” said Maj. Gen. James Dawkins Jr., 8th Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center commander. “The special bomber demonstrations are not only a tribute to these individuals, but also serve as a visible reminder of Americans’ solidarity and drive during a very challenging time.”

New Orleans residents can expect to see two B-52s escorted by F-15 fighter aircraft in the air above New Orleans at approximately 9:30 a.m. Residents of Baton Rouge can expect to see the same aircraft above their city at approximately 12 p.m. The flights will last 10 to 20 minutes in each city as they fly over major regional medical centers. All residents are encouraged to follow strict social distancing guidelines and refrain from gathering in large viewing groups.

Area residents will also be able to join Barksdale AFB during this event from the comfort of their homes by visiting www.facebook.com/AirForceGlobalStrikeCommand for ongoing coverage.

As part of the #AirForceSalutes flyover program, B-52s from Barksdale AFB flew over Monroe and Shreveport, Louisiana, on April 24, and a B-2 Spirit from Whiteman AFB, Missouri, flew over Kansas City and communities surrounding Whiteman on April 29. B-1s from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, will be performing flyovers in areas near Ellsworth on Friday as well.

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.

For more information on this event and other Air Force Global Strike Command activities, follow @AirForceGlobalStrikeCommand on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.