New Jersey

NJ Air National Guard Salutes Front-Line Coronavirus Workers With Flyover

The 108th Wing and 177th Fighter Wing of the New Jersey Air National Guard will do a statewide flyover Tuesday to honor front-line workers battling the coronavirus pandemic

F-16C Fighting Falcons of the 177th Fighter Wing, New Jersey Air National Guard.
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What to Know

  • Tuesday's "New Jersey Salutes Flyover" will honor front-line health care workers and first responders battling the new coronavirus.
  • Pilots from the 108th Wing and 177th Fighter Wing will fly a loop from Sea Grit to Atlantic City.
  • "Never underestimate the value of a morale boost when in combat,” New Jersey National Guard Commander and New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Commissioner Brig. Gen. Jemal Beale said.

People throughout New Jersey will be able to look to the sky Tuesday as the New Jersey Air National Guard flies overhead to salute those on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak.

Pilots from 108th Wing and 177th Fighter Wing of the New Jersey Guard are teaming up for the "New Jersey Salutes Flyover" across the Garden State. The event in the sky is part of the nationwide Air Force Salutes Flyover aimed at boosting morale.

"The NJ National Guard has been in the fight against COVID-19 from the very beginning with our state and federal partners to save lives and relieve suffering," Brig. Gen. Jemal Beale, commander of the New Jersey National Guard and commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, said Friday.

The flight comes after guard members were dispatched to long-term care facilities in New Jersey to help in efforts to slow the spread of the deadly COVID-19 infection.

The Garden State has been hard hit by the new coronavirus. New Jersey has reported the second most COVID-19 cases (nearly 140,000) and deaths (more than 9,300) of any state since the outbreak began earlier this year.

"Never underestimate the value of a morale boost when in combat,” Beale said. “I want to thank the NJ Air Guard for its patriotic gesture and flyover in support of our first responder cohorts as we continue to battle COVID-19. Jersey Strong!"

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Here are some questions and answers about Tuesday’s flyover:

When Will the Flyover Take Place?

The flyover will take to the sky over the New Jersey around 11:20 a.m. Tuesday. The pilots will then make a loop around the Garden State for more than an hour before wrapping up around 12:32 p.m. The Guard said times could vary by 15 minutes. Wednesday is the rain date, if needed.

What’s the Flyover Route?

The flyover will first soar over Sea Grit along the Jersey Shore around 11:30 a.m. before heading north along the coast. The route takes the flyover past various COVID-19 “testing sites, state veteran homes, hospitals and mortuary affairs,” the guard said.

The planned route for the May 12, 2020 New Jersey Salutes Flyover

Flyover sites include the PNC Arts Center (11:35 a.m.), Kean University (11:48 a.m.), New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (12:07 p.m.), Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital (12:13 p.m.), the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center (12:27 p.m.) and the field hospital at the Atlantic City Convention Center (12:32 p.m.), the 177th said in a Facebook post.

The 177th Fighter Wing posted the full schedule to its Facebook page.

People are encouraged to watch the show in the sky while practicing state-suggested social-distancing measures that remain in place.

What Type of Aircraft Will You See?

A KC-135R Stratotanker from the 108th Wing and three F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 177th Fighter Wing are scheduled to take part in the flyover.

Will There Be Clear Skies for the Flyover?

Tuesday’s weather forecast calls for mostly sunny skies with highs getting into the upper 50s or even 60 in the afternoon. Some windy conditions are expected. Check back Tuesday morning for the latest forecast.

Following Another Patriotic Flyover

Tuesday’s New Jersey flyover follows the Blue Angels/Thunderbirds "America Strong" Flyover last month.

The joint flyover by Air Force and Navy aircraft took place over Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware, on Tuesday afternoon as the military flight demonstration squadrons focused on honoring front-line workers in some of the places hardest-hit by COVID-19.
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