LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — In honor of nurses week, four Hercules aircraft were flying across the state today to salute healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Little Rock Air Force base was behind the show to recognize all the folks working hard on the front lines.

“It’s been hard not to be a little emotional this week.” said Trenda Ray, UAMS Chief Nursing Officer

The Little Rock Air Force base aviators flew over UAMS Friday afternoon.

This was a part of their “America strong” flyover schedule across the natural state.

“The outpouring support from our community has been amazing.” said Trenda Ray, UAMS Chief Nursing Officer

The purpose was to honor and show appreciation for all healthcare professionals, essential employees and volunteers on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19.

UAMS Chief Nursing Officer Trenda Ray says it’s amazing for all of them to see this.

“When you think about everything our team has been through this week, and you see a heart in the sky and all the different efforts that everyone in the community has put together… every moment has just been beautiful.” said Trenda Ray, UAMS Chief Nursing Officer

Ray also says it’s nice for them to be able to find time and enjoy moments like this.

“Having a break and coming outside, it’s a little unusual anyway, we’re sometimes tethered to the bedside for our frontline staff in our offices.” said Trenda Ray, UAMS Chief Nursing Officer

The flyover went from Conway, to Fayetteville, Fort smith, Searcy, Hot Springs, Pine Bluff, Benton, West Memphis and Jonesboro.

This is the latest show of support in Central Arkansas during national nurses week.

“Each and every gesture, especially this week it’s nurses week it’s very special. it reminds us the community is thinking of us, when our teams are so stressed and been so busy.”  said Trenda Ray, UAMS Chief Nursing Officer.

LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. (News Release) – Little Rock Air Force Base aviators are scheduled to fly over medical facilities throughout the state of Arkansas May 8 to honor and express Team Little Rock’s gratitude for all healthcare professionals, essential employees and volunteers in the fight against COVID-19.

The flyover will include four C-130 Hercules aircraft flying in two separate two-ship formations. The aircraft will represent each component that comprises Team Little Rock: the 19th Airlift Wing, the 314th Airlift Wing, the 189th Airlift Wing, and the 913th Airlift Group. Central Arkansans can expect to see America’s premier combat airlifters from various vantage points beginning at approximately 12 p.m. as the C-130s fly over major regional medical centers. In case of inclement weather, the flight will be postponed to May 15.

“We are truly in this fight together. We have deep gratitude for all healthcare personnel and other essential employees and volunteers who have put themselves at risk while confronting this invisible enemy,” said Col. John Schutte, 19th Airlift Wing and installation commander. “While defending the homeland has taken a new shape, we are proud to serve alongside those in and out of uniform. This flyover is our way of sending a heartfelt salute and ‘Thank You’ to all those on the frontlines in the fight against this virus. Without their dedication and hard work, we would not be able to execute our mission of projecting and sustaining agile combat airlift.”

All residents are encouraged to follow strict social distancing guidelines and refrain from gathering in large viewing groups.

The U.S. Air Force performs almost 1,000 flyovers each year, to include air shows, national-level sporting events, and any event in support of a patriotic holiday. Flyovers are fully functional training missions, designed to maintain the lethality and readiness of Air Force pilots and maintainers; they are conducted at no additional cost to taxpayers and are incorporated into existing flying schedules.

For more information on this event and other Little Rock AFB activities, follow @LittleRockAirForceBase on Facebook, and Instagram. Feel free to use #AmericaStrong and #weARstrong when posting to social media.