The Air Force Thunderbirds will be roaring over Orange County today as a salute to California’s first responders on the frontline of the Coronavirus Pandemic as well as essential workers.

“It is an honor for our team to salute the countless Californians who have committed to keeping the communities safe during this difficult time in our nation,” said Lt Col John Caldwell, Thunderbirds commander and leader in a press release.

Six F-16C/D Fighting Falcons, high performance aircrafts, will maneuver in formation across Orange County skies. The flyovers will not result in additional costs to taxpayers, according to the Thunderbirds.

County Residents will be able to view the jets flying overhead from the safety of their homes while continuing to maintain social distancing guidelines. from 1:35 p.m. to about 2:00 p.m. today before the planes head over to Riverside county.

The Airforce is asking people to maintain social distancing guidelines and to avoid congregating in crowds to view the flyover.

 “We hope to give onlookers a touching display of American resolve that honors those serving on the frontline our fight against COVID-19,” Caldwell said.

The jets will start out in Laguna Niguel flying through Irvine, Santa Ana, Anaheim and Fullerton before wrapping around Los Angeles County and then flying around Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.

The Thunderbirds have been flying all over the country as part of Operation: America Strong to show their appreciation for the men and women who are working day and night to save lives as the number of cases of the virus continue to rise across America.

The Thunderbirds have teamed up with the Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, and the Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron to do similar flyovers as part of the Operation to flyover cities in the country hit hardest by the pandemic.

The Operation will not only be a thank you for healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential workers but will provide training for pilots. The Thunderbirds have had to cancel multiple airshows because of the pandemic.

“We’re excited to fly over cities across America as our way of saying thanks to the healthcare workers, first responders, and all the people who selflessly run into the breach working to keep America strong,” said Gen. Dave Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and Adm. Michael Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations.  “This is also our way of showing that we are all in this together and that America’s spirit will prevail.”

Since you've made it this far,

You are obviously connected to your community and value good journalism. As an independent and local nonprofit, our news is accessible to all, regardless of what they can afford. Our newsroom centers on Orange County’s civic and cultural life, not ad-driven clickbait. Our reporters hold powerful interests accountable to protect your quality of life. But it’s not free to produce. It depends on donors like you.

Join the conversation: In lieu of comments, we encourage readers to engage with us across a variety of mediums. Join our Facebook discussion. Message us via our website or staff page. Send us a secure tip. Share your thoughts in a community opinion piece.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.