F-35A flyover to honor COVID-19 responders today

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The 158th Fighter Wing of the Vermont Air National Guard will honor Vermont's front line COVID-19 responders and essential workers with a flyover today.

"Our healthcare professionals, emergency responders and essential workers have served on the frontlines of this pandemic, putting the health and safety of their neighbors above their own and I cannot thank them enough for their commitment and service," Gov. Phil Scott said in a statement. "They've worked long, hard hours and given so much throughout this once-in-a-century crisis. They are heroes to us all."

"On behalf of the Air Force and the Vermont Air National Guard, we are proud to recognize and pay tribute to our healthcare professionals, essential personnel and first responders throughout Vermont," said Col. David Shevchik, Commander of the 158th Fighter Wing. "This flyover is in honor of their professionalism, selfless service and commitment to our state and citizens when we need them most," said Shevchik.

A formation of four F-35A Lightning IIs will takeoff from the Vermont Air National Guard Base in South Burlington at noon for the flyover that is scheduled to last 90 minutes. The flyover is part of Operation America Strong, an Air Force effort to salute healthcare workers across the country.

The flight path will take them over Bennington, Berlin, Brattleboro, Burlington, Essex Junction, Middlebury, Morrisville, Newport, Randolph, Rutland, Springfield, St. Albans, St. Johnsbury, Townshend, White River Junction and Windsor.

Residents in these areas can expect a few seconds of jet noise as the aircraft pass overhead. They should maintain all social distancing guidelines and refrain from traveling to hospitals or gathering in large groups to view the flyover.

"Thank you for what you've done and continue to do to support us all," Shevchik said. "It is with our deepest gratitude that we recognize your sacrifices and unite together with you - we are Vermont strong and we will get through this together."

Viewers are encouraged to tag in on social media @VermontAirNationalGuard with photos and videos of the flyover with the hashtags #AirForceSalutes, #AmericaStrong and #InThisTogether.

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