LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron “Thunderbirds” showed their support for frontline COVID-19 responders with a flyover the Las Vegas Valley on Saturday.
An inside look at #VegasGoesBlue by your @AFThunderbirds 🇺🇸 #ICYMI, you can watch the salute to the first responders, health providers & the entire Nation #inthistogether! https://t.co/Mol8xRRURL #COVID19 @usairforce @DeptofDefense @EsperDoD pic.twitter.com/hAITIaD8M2— Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett (@SecAFOfficial) April 12, 2020
"The flyover is to show appreciation and support for the healthcare workers, first responders and other essential personnel in Las Vegas and around the nation who are working on the front lines to combat the coronavirus," the Thunderbirds said in a news release.
Saturday's flyover featured eight F-16 Fighting Falcons, soaring throughout Las Vegas starting at 2:30 p.m. and lasted approximately 25 minutes, officials said.
“It is an honor to fly for the Americans at the forefront of our nation’s fight against the coronavirus,” said Lt. Col. John Caldwell, Thunderbirds commander and leader. “They are true heroes and we look forward to demonstrating the support of the 685,000 total force Airmen of the U.S. Air Force for healthcare workers, first responders and COVID-19 essential personnel in Las Vegas and across the nation.”
Las Vegas residents were able to enjoy the flyover safely from their home-quarantine. The Thunderbirds asked that people refrain from traveling to landmarks and gathering in large groups to view the flyover.
“While our jets will be flying close together, we want stress that no one should travel or gather to see us fly,” Caldwell said. “We want Las Vegas residents to look up from their homes and enjoy the display of American resolve and pride while keeping front line coronavirus responders in their hearts during this unprecedented time in our nation.”
The Thunderbirds’ flight path started at Nellis Air Base and took them through Centennial Hills, Summerlin, Spring Valley, along the Las Vegas Strip, and down to Henderson before returning to Nellis Air Force Base.