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Air Force Thunderbirds to honor frontline workers by flying over Colorado communities

USAF Thunderbirds flying in close formation over Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. (Adam Bond/WikiCommons)

The Air Force Thunderbirds will lift the spirits of Air Force Academy graduates on Saturday in a traditional flyover, then the F-16 Fighting Falcon pilots will break with tradition and perform a series of community flyovers to honor Colorado’s frontline COVID-19 responders.

The community flyovers last an hour and are a way to “honor health care workers, first responders, military members and other essential personnel who are working on the front lines to combat the coronavirus,” according to an Air Force news release.

Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to deliver remarks at the Air Force Academy’s graduation in Colorado Springs.

The Thunderbirds formation, made up of eight F-16, single-engine supersonic fighter aircraft, will fly over areas including Greeley, Windsor, Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont, Boulder, Denver, Denver International Airport, Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Fort Carson and Pueblo.

Front Range residents can expect to hear the jets roar as they zoom overhead. Some will see the tight formation of fighter aircraft race in precise formation through the Colorado sky.

“Our team is honored to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the countless Coloradans working every day to support their communities during this difficult time,” Thunderbirds commander Lt. Col. John Caldwell said in a news release. “We want Coloradans to look up from their homes and enjoy the display of American resolve and pride while keeping frontline responders in their hearts.”


© 2020 The Denver Post