Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. – Across Georgia, countless doctors and nurses work tirelessly around the clock to combat COVID-19. The Georgia Department of Health reports 36,544 confirmed COVID-19 cases throughout Georgia, with more than six thousand of those resulting in hospitalization.
Medical workers on the frontlines were greeted with a special event yesterday, as two C-130H3 Hercules from Dobbins flew over a number of local hospitals as a way of saying thanks for all the tireless work healthcare workers and first responders have put in to help keep Georgia safe.
“The flyover is a way for Dobbins Air Reserve Base and the Air Force Reserve to show our appreciation to the healthcare workers, first responders and essential employees at the front lines battling COVID-19,” said Col. Craig McPike, Dobbins installation commander. “Thank you for providing the support America needs.”
The two C-130s took off from Dobbins around 6 p.m. on Thursday and headed toward Kennesaw, Canton, Japer, Dalton, Rome, Cartersville and Hiram.
Hospital personnel and onlookers cheered on the planes as they arrived at each spot. The planes spent a couple minutes directly above each hospital before continuing their journey. They flew around 1,000 feet above ground level, which not only gave onlookers a chance to see the planes in detail, but allowed aircrew members to see everyone waving. Some nurses even created signs to hold up to show their mutual appreciation for the military.
One of those onlookers in Jasper had a special connection with the C-130 aircraft. Before becoming a registered nurse at Piedmont Mountainside, he manufactured parts for the plane at Lockheed Martin.
“It was very nice,” said Barry Weaver, describing the flyover. “It’s a great show of community support. We appreciate it.”
The flyover was part of a larger, DOD-wide initiative to honor healthcare workers called “America Strong.” Last week, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds flew in formation over several hospitals around Georgia, as well as other states throughout the U.S.
“We just want all those frontline healthcare workers and first responders to know we’re proud of them and we appreciate everything they’re doing and to keep up all the great work,” said Maj. Aaron Brown, 94th Operational Support Squadron chief of tactics, who also served as the lead mission planner for the flyover.
Although Dobbins is typically accustomed to providing support to the frontlines at numerous contingency operations overseas, it also stands ready to help out at home, or in this case, give a proper salute to the brave men and women fighting the global pandemic right here in the local community.