The Air Force will mount a first-of-its-kind flyover of the Super Bowl with all three types of strategic bombers, the service announced Jan. 25. The event will take place over Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Feb. 7.
The flyover, timed to coincide with the National Anthem, will include a B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D.; a B-2A Spirit from Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., and a B-52H Stratofortress from Minot Air Force Base, N.D., the service said in a press release. Though the three have flown joint flyovers in airshows previously, this will be the first such formation over a Super Bowl.
“The aircraft will take off … from their respective bases, join up for the flyover, and return to base following the event, demonstrating the flexibility” of Air Force Global Strike Command’s bombers “and their ability to deploy anywhere in the world from the continental U.S.,” the Air Force said.
The service noted that it performs nearly 1,000 flyovers every year, and the missions serve “as a way to showcase the capabilities of its aircraft while also inspiring patriotism and future generations of aviation enthusiasts.” The flyovers don’t incur a cost to taxpayers, as they are counted as “time over target” training for aircrews and ground controllers, the service asserted.
Gen. Timothy M. Ray, AFGSC commander, said supporting the event is an honor “for our command and the U.S. Air Force,” and is an opportunity to demonstrate “the reliability, flexibility, and precision of our bomber fleet.”