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Aircraft flyover today honors Pima County first responders, medical professionals

Aircraft flyover today honors Pima County first responders, medical professionals

From the May's Tucson-area coronavirus coverage: Ducey distributes one-fourth of state federal relief money to locals series

A community flyover will happen in Southern Arizona today to honor Pima County's first responders and health-care providers. 

Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and the Arizona Air National Guard will begin the 40-minute flyover at about 2 p.m. Thursday. The four aircraft include two A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and two F-16 Fighting Falcons. 

The aircraft will fly over "a variety of facilities that support the fight against COVID-19," including hospitals and police and fire stations across Southern Arizona. Find the full route here.

"Morris Air National Guard Base and Davis–Monthan Air Force Base recognize the healthcare personnel and first responders who are serving beyond measure during this trying time of the COVID pandemic," Col. Jeffrey Bulter, the Arizona Air National Guard's 162nd Wing commander, said in a news release. "We are extremely grateful for your service to the people of Tucson and the great state of Arizona."

"We are honored to salute all the healthcare workers, first responders and civic leaders who are working tirelessly to flatten the curve in our community," Col. Michael Drowley, Davis-Monthan's 355th Wing commander, said in the release. "They are true heroes. We want everyone who sees us in the sky Thursday to know that our Airmen are flying with them in mind."

Tucsonans hoping to watch the flyover should "refrain from traveling to landmarks, hospitals and gathering in large groups," the release said.

According to the press release, the U.S. Air Force conducts almost 1,000 flyovers every year. 

"Flyovers are functional training missions, designed to maintain the lethality and readiness of Air Force pilots and maintainers," the release says, adding that flyovers are done at no additional cost to taxpayers.

Contact reporter Gloria Knott at gknott@tucson.com or 573-4235. On Twitter: @gloriaeknott

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