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Second Colorado Air National Guard flyover salutes more COVID-19 response heroes

U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from the 120th Fighter Squadron, 140th Wing, Colorado Air National Guard, based at Buckley Air Force Base, Aurora, Colorado, pass over a hospital in Aurora May 6, 2020, during a flyover saluting healthcare workers on Nurses Appreciation Day during the COVID-19 pandemic. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. John Rohrer)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --

In an effort to reach more areas of the state and salute more COVID-19 front line heroes, the Colorado Air National Guard’s 140th Wing will conduct a second F-16 Fighting Falcon flyover Friday, May 15, 2020, from approximately 11:00 am - 12:45 pm.

This flight will include healthcare facilities in Brighton, Granby, Kremmling, Rifle, Fruita, Grand Junction, Delta, Montrose, Cortez, Durango, Pagosa Springs, Alamosa, Trinidad, La Junta, and Parker, Colorado.

“As much as we wanted to include all of the critical Coloradans who are leading the fight against COVID-19 during the first flyover, we had to prioritize based on where the highest number of cases were,” 140th Wing Commander U.S. Air Force Col. Micah Fesler said.

Due to fuel limitations, the May 6 flyby was unable to cover the entire state of Colorado in one sortie, Fesler said.

“We know there are many more cities and towns throughout the state where people are making significant sacrifices to battle the pandemic, so we’ve gotten approval to do one more flyover mission to salute as many more heroes as possible,” he said.

This second flyover is also part of the U.S. Air Force’s Operation American Resolve, which is boosting morale during this time of severe health and economic impacts resulting from the pandemic.

“We truly appreciate the support of communities throughout Colorado over the years,” Fesler said, “This flyover will give us a chance to reach those who are farther from the Front Range.”

Realistically, the jets will not be able to fly over every town in Colorado, Fesler said, however the sentiment is intended for all COVID-19 front line responders.

“Whether we reach your community or not, please know that we salute all the men and women who have risked their own health to serve others…you are our heroes,” he said.

In an effort to reach more areas of the state and salute more COVID-19 front line heroes, the Colorado Air National Guard’s 140th Wing will conduct a second F-16 Fighting Falcon flyover Friday, May 15, 2020, from approximately 11:00 am - 12:45 pm.

This flight will include healthcare facilities in Brighton, Granby, Kremmling, Rifle, Fruita, Grand Junction, Delta, Montrose, Cortez, Durango, Pagosa Springs, Alamosa, Trinidad, La Junta, and Parker, Colorado.

“As much as we wanted to include all of the critical Coloradans who are leading the fight against COVID-19 during the first flyover, we had to prioritize based on where the highest number of cases were,” 140th Wing Commander U.S. Air Force Col. Micah Fesler said.

Due to fuel limitations, the May 6 flyby was unable to cover the entire state of Colorado in one sortie, Fesler said.

“We know there are many more cities and towns throughout the state where people are making significant sacrifices to battle the pandemic, so we’ve gotten approval to do one more flyover mission to salute as many more heroes as possible,” he said.

This second flyover is also part of the U.S. Air Force’s Operation American Resolve, which is boosting morale during this time of severe health and economic impacts resulting from the pandemic.

“We truly appreciate the support of communities throughout Colorado over the years,” Fesler said, “This flyover will give us a chance to reach those who are farther from the Front Range.”

Realistically, the jets will not be able to fly over every town in Colorado, Fesler said, however the sentiment is intended for all COVID-19 front line responders.

“Whether we reach your community or not, please know that we salute all the men and women who have risked their own health to serve others…you are our heroes,” he said.