Wellstar Kennestone Hospital will be among the Atlanta area facilities the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will be flying over Saturday to thank those working in health care during the coronavirus pandemic.
The two teams will perform formation flights Saturday over Atlanta as well as Baltimore and Washington to honor first responders, military and essential workers, according to a news release.
The Atlanta-area flyovers are scheduled to start at 1:35 p.m. Saturday over Kennestone and last approximately 25 minutes. This is part of a series of flyovers across the country called America Strong, an Air Force and Navy collaboration to promote unity behind those working on the front lines of the pandemic.
“America Strong is a way for both teams to show appreciation to the thousands of doctors, nurses, first responders and essential workers out there serving on the frontline day-in and day-out,” said Cmdr. Brian Kesselring, U.S. Navy Blue Angels commanding officer and flight leader for the flyover, in a statement. “This is an extraordinary and unprecedented time but we will get through this. We are all in this together.”
Those in the flight path may see 12 aircraft flying in formation overhead and hear some jet noise. In addition to Kennestone, other Atlanta hospitals in the flight path include Piedmont Hospital, the VA Atlanta hospital, Northside Hospital, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-Scottish Rite Hospital, Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta Medical Center, Emory University Hospital, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta-Egleston Hospital, Piedmont Fayette Hospital and Piedmont Newnan Hospital.
“We are honored to fly over these cities in a display of national unity and support for the men and women keeping our communities safe,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. John Caldwell, Thunderbird commander and lead pilot. “These flyovers are a gesture of goodwill on behalf of the entire Department of Defense to the heroes of the COIVD-19 pandemic.”
Residents are advised to maintain social distancing guidelines and avoid traveling to hospitals or other landmarks and gathering in large groups.
A detailed flight route will be released on the day prior to the flyover.
Viewers are encouraged to tag the demonstration teams on social media at @AFThunderbirds and @BlueAngels with the hashtag #AmericaStrong and #Inthistogether.