Air National Guard to perform flyover at SVMC Friday

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BENNINGTON — A formation of four Vermont Air National Guard fighter jets will perform a flyover at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center at midday on Friday, as part of a circuit of the state to honor front-line COVID-19 responders at 16 hospitals.

The flyover by the 158th Fighter Wing is scheduled to take place at SVMC at 12:28 p.m. The Air Guard said that residents can expect a few seconds of jet noise as the aircraft pass overhead. They suggest that observers should maintain social distancing guidelines and refrain from traveling to the hospital or gathering in large groups to view the flyover.

"Our healthcare professionals, emergency responders and essential workers have served on the front lines of this pandemic, putting the health and safety of their neighbors above their own and I cannot thank them enough for their commitment and service," said Gov. Phil Scott said in a media release. "They've worked long, hard hours and given so much throughout this once-in-a-century crisis. They are heroes to us all."

"On behalf of the Air Force and the Vermont Air National Guard, we are proud to recognize and pay tribute to our healthcare professionals, essential personnel and first responders throughout Vermont," said Col. David Shevchik, commander of the 158th Fighter Wing. "This flyover is in honor of their professionalism, selfless service and commitment to our state and citizens when we need them most," Shevchik said.

A formation of four F-35A Lightning IIs will take off from the Vermont Air National Guard Base in South Burlington at 12 p.m. for the flyover, which is scheduled to last 90 minutes. The flyover is part of Operation America Strong, an Air Force effort to salute healthcare workers across the country.

The flight path will take them over Bennington, Berlin, Brattleboro, Burlington, Essex Junction, Middlebury, Morrisville, Newport, Randolph, Rutland, Springfield, St. Albans, St. Johnsbury, Townshend, White River Junction and Windsor.

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