The Tennessee Air National Guard is planning flyovers of hospitals and healthcare facilities across the state on Tuesday. They’re primarily meant to honor nurses, as many other flyovers have done. But Commander Jeff Holmes says his pilots also just need more seat time.
“The COVID crisis has affected our training,” he says. “It has forced us to make shifts and reallocation of training. One of those is the fact that we’ve had to shift some of our pilot training.”
A C-17 cargo plane will fly out of Memphis. A KC-135 refueling plane will fly out of Knoxville. And both will fly over Nashville at the same time, around 12:30 Tuesday, streaking over dozens of hospitals along the way.
Nearly a thousand members of the Tennessee National Guard have volunteered to respond to the pandemic, primarily as part of mass testing events. But the Tennessee Air Guard has also been helping ship COVID-19 testing kits from Italy to Memphis, where they’re distributed by FedEx.