Columbus AFB salutes local frontline heroes with flyovers Published May 9, 2020 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. -- In honor of the American heroes on the front lines battling the COVID-19 pandemic, Columbus Air Force Base provided dissimilar formation flyovers May 9 over several local communities in northeast Mississippi. The flyovers were part of numerous flyovers that have taken place all over the U.S. during the last several weeks. The U.S. Air Force has conducted these series of flyovers to demonstrate the Air Force’s continued readiness during COVID-19 while saluting American heroes at the forefront of the COVID-19 battle. During a WCBI interview, Col. Samantha Weeks, 14th Flying Training Wing commander said “The Department of Defense came up with it. We just want to recognize and thank all of our healthcare workers for their relentless efforts to make sure that we can care for our population as we fight this virus.” The flyovers consisted of the T-6A Texan II, T-1A Jayhawk and the T-38 Talon. The trainer aircraft are used as part of the 14th Flying Training Wing’s Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training and Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals programs. “The CAFB Salutes Flyover shows unity and support for our community during this time of uncertainty,” Columbus Mayor Robert Smith stated in a letter granting permission for the flyover in Columbus. “The City of Columbus is pleased to partner with CAFB and the Mayor, Council and employees are grateful for this partnership.” Prior to the flyover, Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton said he thought this was a good way to lift morale. "We are very grateful for the United States Air Force and our great friends at the Columbus Air Force Base” Shelton said. “The flyover will be a great display of American patriotism and will uplift our spirits as we all combat COVID-19 together.” Locations where flyovers occurred included North Mississippi Medical Center-Tupelo; Gilmore Memorial Hospital, Amory; Pioneer Community Hospital, Aberdeen; NMMC-West Point ; OCH Regional Medical Center, Starkville; Baptist Memorial Hospital, Columbus and Koritz Clinic, Columbus AFB.