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MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, ND. – On May 18, 2020 a B-52H Stratofortress assigned to Minot Air Force Base is scheduled to fly over medical facilities in Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks and Minot. This flyover, known as an Air Force Salute, is to honor front line responders and express Minot AFB’s and the Air Force’s gratitude for all medical and healthcare professionals, essential employees and volunteers in the fight against COVID-19.
Minot AFB’s Air Force Salute will include one B-52H Stratofortresses assigned to the 23rd Bomb Squadron of the 5th Bomb Wing, which will pass over St Alexius Health and Sanford Medical Center in Bismarck, Sanford Medical Center Fargo, Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, and finally Trinity Medical Center in Minot.
Lt. Col. John Burrell will be participating in this flyover to show his appreciation for those making the frontline sacrifice. “We are in this together. This salute is not about me or you, it is about “us” because we stand with you. We have a deep respect for our doctors, nurses, medical personnel and all other essential employees who are on the front line defending us. We are honored to serve alongside each and every one of you who are risking their lives to keep us and our families safe. This salute is our way of sending a heartfelt “Thank You” to all those who are standing watch to keep us safe. Without your sacrifice, we would not be able to stand alongside you and serve this great nation,”
Local North Dakota residents can expect to see America’s bomber from various vantage points across the cities at approximately these times:
1:35 p.m. St Alexius Health and Sanford Medical Center in Bismarck (South of hospitals, flying from northwest to southeast)
2:15 p.m. Sanford Medical Center Fargo (North of hospital, flying west to east)
2:30 p.m. Altru Hospital Grand Forks (West of the hospital, flying north)
3:25 p.m. Trinity Medical Center Minot (West of hospital, flying north along US-83)
Area residents will also be able to join Minot Air Force Base during this event from the comfort of their homes by visiting www.facebook.com/minotafb for ongoing coverage. Community engagement is encouraged, but it is important to adhere to social distancing guidelines and refrain from gathering in large viewing groups.
The U.S. Air Force performs almost 1,000 flyovers each year, to include air shows, national-level sporting events, and any event in support of a patriotic holiday. Flyovers are fully functional training missions, designed to maintain lethality and readiness; they are conducted at no additional cost to taxpayers and are incorporated into existing flying schedules.