JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va.
The U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight team conducted a flyover in honor of the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the last celebration at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia, June 6, 2019.
The four-ship formation included U.S. Air Force Maj. Paul “Loco” Lopez, F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team pilot, Maj. Garret “Toro” Schmitz, F-16 Viper Demonstration Team pilot, Capt. Andrew “Dojo” Olson, F-35 Lighting II Demonstration Team pilot, and Mr. Andrew McKenna, Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation P-51 Mustang pilot.
“The Heritage Flight team gives people the chance to see a visual representation of Air Force air power,” said Lopez. “It shows the past, present and future in the aircraft that we fly. Flying in formation with the P-51 over Bedford is an honor to those who came before us and it’s truly humbling.”
During the flyover the team performed the missing man formation. This formation is an aerial salute performed by aircraft at funerals or memorial events, typically in memory of a fallen pilot, a well-known military service member or veteran, or a well-known political figure.
“To be able to represent the Air Force and all the men and women of the Air Force is an incredible honor,” said Olson. “Thank you to all those that gave their lives on D-Day 75 years ago and the surviving members who are still out there. We hope to make you proud.”
By showcasing the Airmen and combat advances made by the United States Air Force, the Heritage Flight team aims to educate and inform the American public on what the Air Force of tomorrow has to offer.