CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The 167th Airlift Wing, in Martinsburg, and 130th Airlift Wing, in Charleston, will honor front line COVID-19 healthcare and first responders with a flyover of hospitals in the region, May 13, as part of the Department of the Air Force’s Operation American Resolve, according to a news release from the West Virginia National Guard.
A 167th AW C-17 Globemaster III aircraft will fly over two north central West Virginia hospitals including JW. Ruby Hospital WVU Medicine in Morgantown and Highland-Clarksburg Hospital in Clarksburg.
It will also be flying over Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg; Meritus Medical Center in Hagerstown, Md.; War Memorial Hospital in Berkeley Springs; Western Maryland Regional Medical Center in Cumberland, Md.; Potomac Valley Hospital in Keyser; Grant Memorial Hospital in Petersburg; Hampshire Memorial Hospital in Romney; Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, Va.; Jefferson Medical Center in Ranson and the Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
The 167th AW flyovers will begin at 10:00 a.m. with approximately five to 10 minutes between each location and will conclude by 11:00 a.m., according to the news release. The C-17 will circle each location once before flying on to the next location, officials said.
A 130th AW C-130H Hercules aircraft will fly over Charleston Area Medical Center Teays Valley; Cabell Huntington Hospital; Pleasant Valley Hospital in Point Pleasant; Jackson General Hospital in Ripley; Braxton County Memorial Hospital in Gassaway; Summersville Regional Medical Center; Greenbrier Valley Medical Center in Lewisburg; Summers County Appalachian Regional Hospital in Hinton; Princeton Community Hospital; Bluefield Regional Medical Center; Welch Community Hospital; Logan Regional Medical Center; Boone Memorial Hospital in Madison; Raleigh General Hospital in Beckley; Plateau Medical Center in Oak Hill; Montgomery General Hospital; Charleston Area Medical Center Memorial; Charleston Area Medical Center General; St. Francis Hospital in Charleston; Charleston Area Medical Center Women and Children’s, Hospital; Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston and Family Care in St. Albans.
The 130th AW flyovers will begin at 11:00 a.m. with approximately five to 10 minutes between each location and will conclude by 1:30 p.m., National Guard officials said. The C-130 will circle each location once before flying on to the next location, according to officials.
The flyovers will serve as training for both 167th AW and 130th AW pilots and will be conducted at no additional cost to taxpayers, the news release said.
“It is an honor for the West Virginia Air National Guard to couple our vital training to maintain proficiency with providing a morale boost to those on the frontlines of fighting COVID-19 here in West Virginia and in our surrounding areas,” said Brig. Gen. Christopher “Mookie” Walker, commander of the West Virginia Air National Guard. “Our healthcare workers are invaluable members of our society and deserve all the praise and recognition for what they do every day. It is our hope that by seeing our aircraft in the sky, these men and women will know that they are not in this fight alone and that the West Virginia National Guard is proud to stand alongside them in our state’s response to this pandemic.”
Residents are asked to maintain social distancing guidelines during this event and should refrain from traveling to these hospitals and gathering in groups to view the flyovers, officials urged.
The date and times are subject to change due to weather.