The Minnesota National Guard will be conducting statewide flyovers in recognition of those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic response.
The flights scheduled for Wednesday are part of a nationwide effort to recognize health care workers, emergency responders, food industry and otheressential workers throughout the state that have done their part to keep the state functioning during the stay at home order. The aircraft flying these missions will be combinations of F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from the 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, and C-130 Hercules aircraft from the 133rd Air Wing out of Fort Snelling in Saint Paul. Colonel James Cleet, 133rd Air Wing Commander said the reason for the flights are twofold: “Our crews must fly regularly to maintain their proficiency.
This is an outstanding way to both train our aircrew and to recognize those in our community that are on the frontline working hard for the citizens of Minnesota.” These flyovers are incorporated into previously scheduled training missions. There is potential for the times to flex based on the training missions, weather and airspace availability. A variance of a few minutes either side of the scheduled time may be unavoidable. If there is a weather delay or cancellation an update to the advisory will be provided, however, at this point the weather looks good for Wednesday. Wednesday, by the way, is National Nurses Day.
The flyover will also be visible to areas surrounding the flight path, those hoping for a good view should utilize rooftops and open areas adjacent to buildings.
Here in Brainerd, we will be the first city on the schedule with the F-16 Fighting Falcon Aircraft flying over Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center between 10:55 and 11:10. The aircraft will then fly over St. Gabriel’s in Little Falls between 11:00 and 11:15, and fly over the St. Cloud area between 11:10 and 11:25, and continue south to Monticello and then the Twin Cities and down to Rochester.