Hard-Hit By COVID-19, Detroit Prepares for Two Days of America Strong Flyovers.

An A-10C Thunderbolt II from the 127th Wing at Selfridge ANGB in Michigan takes off for a morning training sortie on Monday, May 11, 2020 (Photo: TheAviationist/Lance Riegle)

America Strong Flights Over Detroit By Blue Angels and MI ANG A-10s and KC-135s.

Detroit, Michigan in the Midwestern U.S. is one of the hardest hit regions in the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. On Tuesday, May 12 and Wednesday, May 13, they’re going to get a morale boost in the form of some air support. The U.S. Navy Blue Angels and Michigan’s own A-10C Thunderbolt II’s and KC-135 Stratotankers from the 127th Wing at Selfridge ANGB will conduct America Strong flyovers of the city’s suburbs and downtown areas, including the Detroit River.

The Blue Angels are scheduled to enter the area on May 12, Tuesday beginning at 11:30 AM local time, flying east/northeast toward downtown Detroit from Ypsilanti roughly paralleling the I-94 freeway to the north as they fly northeast toward downtown Detroit and the riverfront. Between 11:47 AM and 11:51 AM, the six-aircraft formation with additional camera aircraft will fly a large circuit over downtown Detroit, then exit the flyover area to the southwest over the suburb of Allen Park. Spectators viewing the flyover are reminded to maintain safe social distancing to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus while viewing the flyovers.

Maj. David Dennis is one of the A-10C Thunderbolt II pilots for the 127th Wing at Selfridge ANGB in Michigan conducting the America Strong flyovers (Photo: TheAviationist/Tom Demerly)

The following day, on Wednesday, May 13, it is the turn of hometown heroes from Michigan’s own 127th Wing of the Air National Guard flying out of Selfridge ANGB in Mt. Clemens who will do the flying. As part of their normal training schedule, four Republic A-10C Thunderbolt IIs, commonly called “Warthogs” and two Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers will fly over cities throughout Michigan and the downtown Detroit area as a salute to first responders and health care workers in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Route for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels over the Detroit Area for the America Strong Flyover on Tuesday, May 12, 2020. (Photo: U.S. Navy Blue Angels)

On Monday, Brig. Gen. Rolf E. Mammen, Commander of the 127th Wing, told media at Selfridge ANGB base:

“As part of some of some our training missions we’re going to go do some flyovers of some cities and salute our first responders and our people that are out there working hard for the COVID response. This is a great thing for us at Selfridge. What’s important is, it’s about the men and women that are out there on the front lines. This is our opportunity to thank them. Just in the military itself, in the National Guard itself, we have almost a thousand soldiers and airmen who are engaged in the COVID response as we speak. They’re out there either working in the food banks, or that at TCF Center working the hospital or up in the Upper Peninsula doing testing, they’re doing some really, really great work for our community. But, at the same token, you have all the nurses and the first responders doing the hard work and this is our opportunity to salute them as part of one of our training missions, so we’re really excited about it.”

According the Selfridge ANGB public affairs, Michigan’s 127th Wing includes 1,700 Airmen who support operations in the A-10C Thunderbolt II and KC-135 Stratotanker. As one of the largest and most unique National Guard bases in the U.S., Selfridge ANGB hosts 47 tenant organizations and nearly 4,500 personnel from all branches of the military and numerous Department of Homeland Security organizations.

Thanks to Selfridge ANGB and 127th Wing Public Affairs and Mr. Taz Joarder for assistance on this story.

About Tom Demerly
Tom Demerly is a feature writer, journalist, photographer and editorialist who has written articles that are published around the world on TheAviationist.com, TACAIRNET.com, Outside magazine, Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, The Dearborn Press & Guide, National Interest, Russia’s government media outlet Sputnik, and many other publications. Demerly studied journalism at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Tom Demerly served in an intelligence gathering unit as a member of the U.S. Army and Michigan National Guard. His military experience includes being Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia (Cycle C-6-1) and as a Scout Observer in a reconnaissance unit, Company “F”, 425th INF (RANGER/AIRBORNE), Long Range Surveillance Unit (LRSU). Demerly is an experienced parachutist, holds advanced SCUBA certifications, has climbed the highest mountains on three continents and visited all seven continents and has flown several types of light aircraft.