As another tribute to front-line workers in the fight against the COVID-19 Pandemic, more military aircraft will return to the skies over the Garden State on Tuesday. Just last week, commercial aircraft from Jet Blue did a similar fly-over the New York City metro area.
This time, two New Jersey Air National Guard wings will be participating in a “Salutes Flyover” in which a KC-135R Stratotanker from the 108th Wing and three F-16 Fighting Falcons from the 177th Fighter Wing will soar over New Jersey. The flights begin at 11:20 am and will end less than two hours later covering key COVID-19 locations across New Jersey to include testing sites, state veteran homes, hospitals and mortuary affairs.
The Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker is a military aerial refueling aircraft. The KC-135 was the US Air Force’s first jet-powered refueling tanker; it was initially tasked with refueling strategic bombers, but was used extensively in the Vietnam War and later conflicts including Operation Desert Storm to extend the range of U.S. tactical fighters and bombers.
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine supersonic fighter aircraft. Beyond use in military operations, the aircraft type is also used by the USAF aerial demonstration team, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. The Thunderbirds flew over portions of New Jersey on April 28 in a similar aerial tribute to those fighting COVID-19.
Through their currently planned flightplan, the New Jersey National Guard hopes to fly over these locations and times +/- 15 minutes:
• Sea Girt – 11:30 a.m.
• PNC Arts Center – 11:35 a.m.
• Millstone – 11:40 a.m.
• NJ Convention Center – 11:45 a.m.
• Menlo Park – 11:46 – a.m.
• Kean University – 11:48 a.m.
• University Hospital – 11:48 a.m.
• Expo Center – 11:49 a.m.
• Bern County College/Paramus – 11:51 a.m.
• Vets Haven North – 12:01 p.m.
• New Jersey Department of Military and Veterans Affairs – 12:07 p.m.
• Jefferson Cherry Hill Hospital – 12:13 p.m.
• U.S. Coast Guard Training Center – 12:27
• Atlantic City Convention Center – 12:32 p.m.