While the United States Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy Blue Angels are on a nationwide tour doing flybys of major cities in the United States to honor the frontline workers during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the men and women of Sheppard Air Force Base here in Wichita Falls are doing something similar.

The Spirit of Texoma Flyover is scheduled for this Friday afternoon (05.01.20) and will see some of the aircraft and pilots from Sheppard flying over several Texoma towns.

SAFB installation and 82nd Training Wing Commander Col. Kenyon K. Bell and Col. Russell D. Driggers, 80th Flying Training Wing Commander, are working together in true Spirit of Texoma fashion with some 80th Flying Training Wing training aircraft on a 1-hour trip around the region for this mission of gratitude called "Operation Spirit Over Texoma."

While the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels are not announcing where they'll pop up next in order to prevent large gatherings of people to watch, Sheppard Air Force Base has provided us with a general itinerary so we don't miss them. According to their Facebook event we can expect them to leave SAFB around 4:00 Friday afternoon, head North and fly over Lawton, Oklahoma, a few minutes later. Col. Clayton Bartels, 80th FTW vice commander, will be at Comanche County Memorial Hospital in Lawton, Oklahoma, communicating with the lead aircraft. From Lawton they'll wing their way Southwest to Frederick, Oklahoma, by about 4:20 or so, then cross the Red River and cruise over Electra, Iowa Park, and Burkburnett in rapid succession. They should be back over Wichita Falls at approximately 4:30, then return to Sheppard Air Force Base around 4:45.

City of Wichita Falls via Facebook
City of Wichita Falls via Facebook

This is all being done as a tribute to the hard work, commitment and perseverance of area healthcare workers during the pandemic by the men and women of Sheppard Air Force Base and the United States Air Force.

The forecast is for sunny and warm conditions so weather shouldn't be an issue for the flight. Keep your eyes on the skies this Friday afternoon and be sure to thank the frontline health care workers and all of the men and women in uniform for everything they do for Texoma and our country.

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