In a show of solidarity, the U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II Demonstration and 388th Fighter Wing will conduct a formation flyover across the state of Utah on Thursday, April 30, beginning at 1 p.m.
The Salute Utah flyover will honor healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential personnel while standing in solidarity with all Utahns during the COVID-19 pandemic. In recognition of Utah’s Veterans, the flight route will proceed over the William E. Christoffersen Salt Lake Veterans Home, George E. Wahlen VA Medical Center, the Mervyn Sharp Bennion Central Utah Veterans Home, Southern Utah Veterans Home and the George E. Wahlen Ogden Veterans Home.
“I’m tremendously grateful to all Utahns who have taken steps to flatten the curve and slow the spread of coronavirus,” said Gov. Gary. R. Herbert. “The Salute Utah Flyover is an excellent way to pay tribute to those at the frontlines combating the outbreak. Like our pilots and crews, our essential workers are our warriors. This is a tribute to them and to every Utahn fighting coronavirus.”
The flyover will be led by the F-35A Demo Team pilot, Capt. Kristin “BEO” Wolfe, with three combat-ready F-35 pilots from the 388th Fighter Wing. Wolfe is the first female commander of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter demonstration team.
The formation is scheduled to take off from Hill Air Force Base at 1 p.m. on Thursday, proceeding south through Salt Lake City down to St. George, before looping up to Park City and Logan, before proceeding south through Ogden and back to the base.
The flyover is scheduled to be over the Utah Veterans Homes between the approximate following times:
- 1:10 to 1:15 p.m. — William E. Christoffersen Salt Lake Veterans Home and George E. Wahlen VA Medical Center
- 1:15 to 1:25 p.m. — Mervyn Sharp Bennion Central Utah Veterans Home
- 1:50 to 2:00 p.m. — Southern Utah Veterans Home
- 3:00 to 3:15 p.m. — George E. Wahlen Ogden Veterans Home
“We are an operational wing, and we’re taking every precaution to ensure our personnel safety while maintaining our combat-readiness,” said Col. Steven Behmer, 388th Fighter Wing commander. “This flyover is just one way for us to enhance our training while providing a small service to our community.”
Utah residents should follow the state’s Stay Safe, Stay Home Directive and observe the flyover from the safety of their homes, refraining from traveling to see the flyover. Residents should also maintain social distancing and avoid large gatherings to watch the event.
The flight path was coordinated with Utah State officials as well as members of the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Salute Utah Flyover is part of the U.S. Air Force’s Operation: American Resolve, which salutes those at the forefront of the COVID-19 response. The flyover also provides essential training to the pilots, and demonstrates the readiness of the Air Force.