National Guard Fighter Jets Salute SC Hospitals

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Thursday, April 30th, 2020

F-16 fighter jets from the South Carolina Air National Guard’s 169th Fighter Wing saluted the state’s medical professionals and first responders during a round-the-state flyover on Monday, April 27.

The Swamp Fox pilots flew over 42 of South Carolina’s hospitals and made their presence known throughout the state. Anyone around one of these facilities could hear them as they roared through the sky. The flyover was closely coordinated as a part of the U.S. Air Force’s OPERATION: AMERICAN RESOLVE to salute those at the forefront of the COVID-19 response.

“This is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the South Carolina heroes who are working on the front lines around the clock taking care of us during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Col. Akshai Gandhi, commander of the 169th Fighter Wing. “Our intent [was] to boost morale in our Great State.”

Airmen and Soldiers of the South Carolina National Guard recently teamed up with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to deliver much-needed medical supplies to all 46 counties as well as the state continues its fight to protect South Carolinians from COVID-19.

Pilots from the 169th Fighter Wing train for a variety of mission skill sets in order to maintain combat readiness for the defense of our state and nation. Additionally, the unit provides around-the-clock Aerospace Control Alert for the defense of our homeland, while also responding to state and national emergencies as directed by the Governor of South Carolina.