SAN ANTONIO – NOTE: Forecasted inclement weather in San Antonio and Austin could delay flyover times or postpone the flyover all together, according to social post on the Air Force Thunderbirds Facebook page.
After the overwhelming response from healthcare workers and the community where they are stationed in Las Vegas, the USAF Thunderbirds decided to take flight across the nation, including San Antonio, on Wednesday afternoon.
The flyover is part of America Strong, a collaborative salute from the Navy and Air Force to recognize healthcare workers, first responders and other essential personnel in a show of national solidarity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Even though we’re distant, we’re still together. That’s really the message we’re trying to send,” said Maj. Trevor Aldridge, a Texas A&M Aggie from Wichita Falls who flies the left wing position.
Aldridge has family in San Antonio, where he also trained earlier.
Being that San Antonio is known as Military City U.S.A. and has a renowned medical community at the forefront of COVID-19 research, Aldridge said it made sense to pay the Alamo City a visit.
“Seems like it was one of the best places for us to help support front-line workers and everybody, the entire population that has sacrificed so much during this crisis," he said.
Initially, the Thunderbirds were joined by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, flying over New York City, Washington D.C.and Philadelphia.
Doing so, Aldridge said was "incredibly humbling" knowing that the country is in the midst of a crisis unlike any other.
"I love this country. That's why I do what I do," Aldridge said.
He said although the Thunderbirds won’t be doing their trademark aerobatics this time, their fighter jets will be only about 18 inches to three feet apart, going about 450 mph, about 500 feet above the city.
“So we’ll be flying fairly low, fairly fast, fairly close,” Aldridge said.
They will spend about half an hour over San Antonio before heading to Austin.
“(Operation America Strong) really showcases what the Air Force, with 600,000 people in the Air Force, and the entire Department of Defense is capable of, when a team works together," Aldridge said.
If you get good pictures or video of the flyover, upload them here with KSAT Connect and we may use them on air or on our website.
For more COVID-19 coverage from KSAT, click here.