The South Dakota Air National Guard’s 114th Fighter Wing conducted a series of flyovers at several healthcare facilities throughout eastern South Dakota on May 16 to honor fellow Americans working to fight the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The flyovers served 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 passed over hospitals in nine cities, including Vermillion. This photo was taken from a fifth plane that accompanied them.
The Fighting Falcons also flew over Brookings, Watertown, Aberdeen, Pierre, Huron, Mitchell, Yankton and Sioux Falls.
The flyovers were 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,” added Col. Morrell.