Flyovers Saturday to honor COVID-19 responders

South Dakota Air National Guard photo

SIOUX FALLS – South Dakota Air National Guard’s 114th Fighter Wing will conduct a series of flyovers at several healthcare facilities throughout Eastern South Dakota this Saturday to honor fellow Americans working to fight the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

The flyovers will serve to salute and show appreciation for healthcare workers, first responders and other essential personnel working on the frontlines to combat COVID-19 while demonstrating the Air National Guard’s continued readiness. 

“This Armed Forces Day, we would like to salute our fellow Americans working hard to keep South Dakotans safe,” said Col. Mark Morrell, 114th Fighter Wing commander. “They have demonstrated true commitment and selfless service, and this is our way of saying thank you.”

Four F-16 fighting falcons from the 114th Fighter Wing will pass over hospitals in nine cities.

The estimated times and locations for the flyovers are:

• Brookings: 1:10-1:20 p.m.

• Watertown: 1:20-1:30 p.m.

• Aberdeen: 1:35-1:45 p.m.

• Pierre: 1:55-2:05 p.m.

• Huron: 2:10-2:20 p.m.

• Mitchell: 2:20-2:30 p.m.

• Yankton: 2:30-2:40 p.m.

• Vermillion: 2:35-2:45 p.m.

• Sioux Falls: 2:50-3 p.m.

Community residents and staff are encouraged to step outside to view the flyover, but are reminded to practice physical distancing and not gather in large groups.

The flyovers are conducted as part of the Department’s Operation American Resolve and the Air Force Salutes morale flyover plan and are performed within regularly scheduled training missions. The 114th Fighter Wing continues to maintain mission assurance throughout COVID-19 by supporting Overseas Contingency Operations, defending U.S. airspace, and providing support to civil authorities.

“We hope everyone can share in this moment of gratitude, and remember that we are all in this together,” Morrell added.

Everyone is encouraged to share their patriotic photos and videos of the flyover event with the 114th Fighter Wing Facebook page @114thFighterWing.

For more information, follow the 114th Fighter Wing Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/114thFighterWing/, or contact the 114th Fighter Wing Public Affairs office at 605-988-5946.

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