Missouri Air National Guard to conduct B-2 stealth bomber salute to COVID-19 essential workers

  • Published
  • By Staff Report
  • Missouri National Guard Public Affairs Office

The Missouri Air National Guard’s 131st Bomb Wing will conduct B-2 flyovers of six Missouri communities to honor medical and healthcare professionals, essential employees and volunteers in the fight against COVID-19 on the afternoon and evening of May 8.

The flyovers are part of an Air Force-wide effort to honor first responders as they battle the COVID-19 pandemic, said Col. Ken Eaves, commander of the 131st Bomb Wing.

“We greatly appreciate the selfless service and sacrifices of our medical professionals and other COVID-19 essential workers,” Eaves said. “As Guardsmen, we’ve been honored to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with these incredible professionals. Currently, hundreds of Missouri Air and Army National Guardsmen are mobilized to support these efforts.”

The flyover will include a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber assigned to the 509th/131st Bomb Wings, which will pass over Camdenton, Cape Girardeau, St. Louis, Columbia, Jefferson City and Springfield.

During the flyovers, all residents are encouraged to follow strict social distancing guidelines and refrain from gathering in large viewing groups.

The flyovers are part of the Air Force’s Operation American Resolve. The program honors the heroism of medical professionals, healthcare workers and first responders working tirelessly to combat the pandemic. Dozens of similar missions have been conducted across the country in recent weeks, including a flight made up of B-2s and A-10s flown by Airmen from the 509th Bomb Wing and 442nd Fighter Wing, respectively, over Kansas City on April 28.

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 the lethality and readiness of Air Force pilots and maintainers. They are conducted at no additional cost to taxpayers and are incorporated into existing flying schedules.

Based at Whiteman Air Force Base and Jefferson Barracks, the 131st Bomb Wing is the only National Guard wing to fly the B-2 Spirit through as a classic unit association with the active duty 509th Bomb Wing.

For all media requests, please contact Missouri National Guard Public Affairs at (573)638-9846 or mo.moarng@mail.mil.

Update, May 8, 2020 | Additional landmarks for the best viewing opportunities:

- MO- 5 near exit for N Business Rte 5
- US Hwy 54 near Wal-Mart
Cape Girardeau:
- Williams St, East of I-55
- Lacey St between sunset and Broadway
St. Louis:
- Kingshighway Blvd between Forest Park Ave and Page Blvd
- Hazelwood East High school facing west
- Paris Rd between US Hwy 63 and I-70
- Mizzou Football stadium (North side)
Jeff City:
- Area of Holiday Inn and Big O tires on US Hwy 54 facing East
- Logan's Roadhouse on Battlefield Rd facing North
- National Ave Between Seminole and Sunshine