NEW JERSEY – Did you see the air show in the skies yesterday?
The Navy’s Blue Angels and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds put on shows over major cities in a message of thank you to those on the front lines fighting against the coronavirus.
The schedule was that the planes would start their performance at noon over New York City with a flyover of the George Washington Bridge. The planes would also flyover all five boroughs, NYC suburbs and Newark for about 40 minutes before landing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. An hour later, they were scheduled to take off and fly over Trenton and Levittown before heading to Philadelphia. From there, they would fly over southern counties in New Jersey.
“We are truly excited to take to the skies with our Navy counterparts for a nationwide tribute to the men and women keeping our communities safe,” said Air Force Lt. Col. John Caldwell, the Thunderbirds’ flight leader and the mission commander for the flyover.
Critics stated that the show of military might could have been directed in a better way. The Washington Post reported that it costs $60,000 per hour that the planes are in the air. The military, however, said that this was being used as a normal training session so it would not be an additional cost.
Although several public spaces were closed to prevent onlookers from congregating, there were reports of places like Manhattan where social distancing was ignored while people watched.
Dubbed “Operation America Strong,” the 12-jet precision flying crew will put on shows all the way to Texas, according to Air Force Magazine.
The Thunderbirds were founded in 1953, and the Blue Angels in 1946, in the wake of World War II.