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Swamp Fox salute medical professionals during statewide flyover

An F-16 fighter jet taxis under a blue sky toward the runway for takeoff.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Jeffrey Beckham, a F-16 fighter pilot, assigned to the South Carolina Air National Guard’s 169th Fighter Wing, taxis his F-16 prior to takeoff at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., April 27, 2020. The 169th Fighter Wing saluted the healthcare professionals in South Carolina with a statewide flyover of more than 60 hospitals. The series of flyovers, originating from McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina, is part of the U.S. Air Force’s Operation AMERICAN RESOLVE to show appreciation to the thousands of heroes on the front lines battling COVID-19 with the intent to lift morale in cities across America. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Stephen Hudson, 169th Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

An F-16 pilot prepares for takeoff at under a bright blue sky and bright sun.

An F-16 fighter pilot assigned to the South Carolina Air National Guard’s 169th Fighter Wing runs through pre-flight sequences prior to takeoff at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., April 27, 2020. The 169th Fighter Wing saluted the healthcare professionals in South Carolina with a statewide flyover of more than 60 hospitals. The series of flyovers, originating from McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina, is part of the U.S. Air Force’s Operation AMERICAN RESOLVE to show appreciation to the thousands of heroes on the front lines battling COVID-19 with the intent to lift morale in cities across America. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Capt. Stephen Hudson, 169th Fighter Wing Public Affairs)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. --

F-16s from the South Carolina Air National Guard’s 169th Fighter Wing paid tribute to the state’s medical professionals and first responders during a round-the-state flyover, Monday, April 27.

The Swamp Fox F-16s flew over more than 60 hospitals under a bright blue Carolina sky to the cheers of thousands of spectators who waved American flags as the jets passed overhead. The flyover was closely coordinated as a part of the U.S. Air Force’s OPERATION: AMERICAN RESOLVE, saluting those at the forefront of the COVID-19 response and done in conjunction with regularly scheduled training.

“This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the South Carolina heroes who are working on the front lines around the clock, taking care of us during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Col. Akshai Gandhi, commander of the 169th Fighter Wing. “Our intent is to boost morale in our Great State.”

Pilots from the 169th Fighter Wing train for a variety of mission skill sets in order to maintain combat readiness for the defense of our state and nation. Additionally, the unit provides around-the-clock Aerospace Control Alert for the defense of our homeland, while also responding to state and national emergencies as directed by the Governor of South Carolina.

 

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