National Guard flyover salutes expand across Minnesota this week

People look up to the sky as jets fly by.
Police, first responders, health care workers and civilians look up to the sky to watch two Minnesota National Guard F-16 fighter jets fly over Mercy Hospital in Coon Rapids last week.
Evan Frost | MPR News file

The National Guard is expanding its salute to people fighting the COVID-19 outbreak with military aircraft flyovers around the state on Wednesday.

The guard flew a cargo plane and jet fighters over 15 hospitals last week, in a salute to health care workers treating people during the coronavirus outbreak. Most of the locations were in the Twin Cities.

They’re repeating the salute, this time in cities such as Aitkin, Jackson, International Falls and Albert Lea. The flight schedule lists more than 50 cities in Minnesota, northwestern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. All but a handful are in Minnesota.

A statement from the National Guard said the flyovers are an effort to honor medical professionals, emergency responders, food industry and other essential workers. The demonstrations are being incorporated into previously scheduled training flights.

The flights will include two Duluth-based 148th Fighter Wing F-16s and two C-130 cargo aircraft from the St. Paul-based 133rd Guard Airlift Wing and the Air Force Reserve’s 934th Airlift Wing.

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