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International Council of Air Shows


April 24th, 2020

On Wednesday afternoon, President Donald Trump announced during his afternoon briefing that the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds would be launching “Operation America Strong,” a collaborative salute from the Navy and Air Force to recognize healthcare workers, first responders, military, and other essential personnel while standing in solidarity with all Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although specific dates and details are not yet available, media reports suggest that the two teams will fly over multiple U.S. cities in the coming weeks, with some of the locations including joint flyovers by both teams. Earlier this week, the Thunderbirds arrived in Pensacola, FL, for apparent training missions with the Blue Angels. Multiple media reports suggest that one or both teams may also use colored smoke during their upcoming national flyover tour.

“This is forward progress in our collective efforts to re-start the 2020 air show season,” says ICAS President John Cudahy. “Keeping the teams visible and active will fuel enthusiasm for actual air shows when political and public health conditions permit them again.”

The timeline, schedule, and specific airborne assets for the flyovers are still being finalized. Look for future updates and more information soon.