The Air Force’s famous Thunderbirds honored frontline COVID-19 responders and essential workers Friday with formation flights over San Diego and Los Angeles.

Sharp Grossmont Hospital staff gathered again on a parking garage to view the formation, which flew in from the south and then circled back to pass by to the east.

“It is an honor for our team to salute the countless Californians who have committed to keeping the communities safe during this difficult time in our nation,” said Lt. Col. John Caldwell, commander of the U.S. Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron. “We hope to give onlookers a touching display of American resolve that honors those serving on the frontline of our fight against COVID-19.”

A formation of six F-16C/D Fighting Falcons conducted the flyovers as a salute to health care workers, first responders, military and other essential personnel while standing in solidarity with all Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Residents along the flight path cheered the sight of a half-dozen high-performance aircraft flying in precise formation.

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The San Diego flyover began about noon, with the Thunderbirds flying north from Chula Vista, then circling over downtown San Diego, then looping over National City, Santee, El Cajon and La Mesa before moving north generally over Interstate 5.

The squadron circled over Carlsbad before moving east to circle over Escondido, then head north to Los Angeles and Riverside counties.

The Air Force encouraged people who take photos to tag them on social media as #AmericaStrong and #Thunderbirds.

— City News Service

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