TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Four T-38A Talons from the 9th Reconnaissance Wing at Beale AFB, California, saluted nurses, doctors and first responders, including those here, with an Operation American Resolve flyover May 9.
The flyover, which flew over 21 hospitals and clinics from Grass Valley, California, to Fairfield, California, was part of the Department of the Air Force’s efforts to lift morale of healthcare workers and first responders in U.S. cities that have been impacted by COVID-19.
“Northern California healthcare workers, first responders and other essential personnel on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19, thank you for your service and sacrifice,” said Col. Andy Clark, 9th Reconnaissance Wing commander at Beale AFB.
The Talons took off from Beale AFB at approximately 12 p.m. and completed flyovers of Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital in Grass Valley, Sutter Urgent Care in Yuba City and Adventice Health Memorial Hospital in Marysville, followed by several hospitals in the Sacramento region.
At approximately 12:40 p.m., the T-38s streamed through the sky over David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis AFB. The hospital, which is the largest Air Force medical facility, set up two COVID-19 testing sites in March. Travis AFB has also supported the fight against the new coronavirus by deploying medics to New York and creating face shields for doctors and nurses.
“We have several hospitals in the area that have been affected in one way or another by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Capt. Parker Dodds, 1st Reconnaissance Squadron T-38A Talon instructor pilot and leader of the flyover formation. “We want to show our support for our community during these uncertain times, especially for healthcare workers.
“We want them to know they have our resounding support and this flyover is a visible display of that,” he said.
The T-38s were flown by pilots from the 1st RS, 99th Reconnaissance Squadron and 9th Operations Support Squadron.
Dodds said the pilots were proud to show their appreciation for first responders, especially those at Travis AFB.
“Travis has been supporting the fight against COVID-19 starting with American citizens who were evacuated from China, followed by the Diamond Princess -cruise -ship passengers,” he said. “The base has been on the forefront in the battle against COVID-19, so the flyover is a small way to say, ‘thank you.’”
Staff Sgt. Christopher Allard, an inpatient shift supervisor with the 60th Inpatient Operations Squadron at Travis AFB, watched the T-38s soar over DGMC as he stood outside the emergency room.
“The flyover was nice,” -said Allard, who coordinates patient care at DGMC and manages a team of a half-dozen medical technicians. “It’s nice to know, as healthcare workers, people are thinking about us. What we are doing is making a difference.”