“New Jersey Strong”
Inspired by the USN Blue Angels and USAF Thunderbirds nationwide city flyovers, the United Sates Air Force has been conducting individual state flybys of its own- saluting front-line health care workers and first responders combating the Corona Virus. On 12 May 2020, the New Jersey Air National Guard (NJ ANG) conducted a near statewide flyover, covering over a dozen COVID-19 testing sites, state veterans homes and hospitals.
The Garden State’s flyover consisted of three F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 177th Fighter Wing based at Atlantic City International Airport and a KC-135R Stratotanker from the 108th Wing, McGuire AFB. The four-ship, one hour flight, began over Atlantic City, traveled north up the coast to Sea Girt, along the northern most boarder of the state (near NYC), turned south to the state’s western border, down along the Delaware River, then inland towards Cape May County before finally moving north again along the coast back to Atlantic City.
Just as the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds, the NJ ANG wanted to recognize and honor those working on the front lines battling the COVID-19 pandemic. Brig. Gen. Jemal Beale, Commander of the New Jersey National Guard and Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, thanked the NJ Air Guard for its patriotic gesture and morale boosting support.