MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. --
Team McConnell is scheduled to perform a series of community flyovers for Operation America Strong on May 6, 2020, beginning at 10 a.m.
A flight of two KC-135 Stratotankers and a KC-46 Pegasus from McConnell, followed closely by Wichita’s own B-29 Superfortress “Doc,” will fly over local communities and hospitals to salute first responders, military members and essential personnel who are working on the frontlines to combat the coronavirus.
The flightpath will bring the aircraft over Wichita, Derby, Newton, Andover, Garden Plain, Haysville and El Dorado, including 11 local hospitals. The flyover will last approximately one hour.
“Team McConnell takes great pride in being part of this community,” said Col. Richard Tanner, 22nd Air Refueling Wing commander. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to show our appreciation and solidarity to the thousands of heroes who are working tirelessly to battle COVID-19.”
The flyover salute is a total force effort between the 22nd ARW, the Air Force Reserve 931st Air Refueling Wing and the Kansas Air National Guard 184th Wing, all located on McConnell Air Force Base.
The flight also symbolizes over 70 years of aviation in the air capital of the world, featuring the Air Force’s newest tanker and the World War II heavy bomber.
“We are humbled and honored to join our nation’s warfighters at McConnell Air Force Base and be a part of Operation American Strong to salute those who have been battling the virus on the front lines, as well as to recognize those essential workers who have been keeping the grocery store shelves stocked, making deliveries and keeping our communities going during the pandemic,” said Josh Wells, Doc’s Friends, Inc., executive director and general manager.
The Air Force has extensively planned and implemented measures to ensure the force and individual units remain ready to carry out their respective missions. Air Force flyovers are conducted at no additional cost to the taxpayer and serve as training for pilots.
Individuals are encouraged to take pictures of the flyover and tag McConnell @22ARW on Facebook and Instagram. Questions can be directed to the 22nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (316) 364-1910.