A military tribute coming to the skies over Suncoast Friday morning

A military tribute coming to the skies over Suncoast Friday morning
A KC-135 Stratotanker takes off on the flightline at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., May 29, 2013. The KC-135 Stratotanker provides the core aerial refueling capability for the United States Air Force and has excelled in this role for more than 50 years. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Shandresha Mitchell/ Released) (Source: Senior Airman Shandresha Mitchell)

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla (WWSB) - Two planes will show tribute to thousands of healthcare workers in the Tampa Bay area, and a special stop will come right over the Suncoast.

MacDill Air Force Base will fly two KC-135 Stratotankers over 12 hospitals in this region, including Sarasota Memorial Hospital. The tankers will take off at 9:30 am and start their path around the region at 10:30 am. See the exact expected times on the graphic below.

"This flight is a way to honor all health care workers and first responders and remind them we are all in this together,” said Col. Douglas Stouffer, the 927th ARW commander.

MacDill flyover plan for Friday, May 15 in the Tampa Bay region.
MacDill flyover plan for Friday, May 15 in the Tampa Bay region. (Source: MacDill AFB)

People are encouraged to take pictures and use #RefuelingTheFrontline but are asked to not congregate in large groups to view this tribute.

“This community goes out of their way to honor our sacrifices,” Col. Steve Snelson, the 6th Air Refueling Wing commander told us. “This is an honor for us to be able to display our gratitude to these warriors who protect our base and this community from this horrible virus.”

A combination of active duty and reserve teams with the 6th and the 927th ARW be will onboard.

"This is our chance to do something, albeit very small compared to what these healthcare workers are doing. I hope that when they hear our 135s, they know that we’ve got their back.” - Col. Steve Snelson, the 6th Air Refueling Wing commander

12 major hospitals are in the path:

  • Tampa General Davis Island
  • Brandon Regional; Riverview Regional
  • South Bay Hospital; Sarasota Memorial
  • St. Anthony (St. Petersburg)
  • St. Petersburg General Women’s Hospital
  • Pines Bay VA
  • Largo Medical Center
  • Tampa General (North Tampa)
  • USF
  • Tampa General Davis Island

UPDATED: Team MacDill Salutes Tampa Bay Due to weather, were coming to you one hour earlier. Instead of launching at...

Posted by MacDill Air Force Base on Thursday, May 14, 2020

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