LITTLE ROCK AIR FORCE BASE, Ark. – Little Rock Air Force Base performed a flyover in Central Arkansas to thank Arkansans for their unwavering community support for more than 65 years.
Six aircrafts ready for takeoff but the mission is a little different than most. Base Commander Colonel John Schutte said this flyover is their way of showing their appreciation for the community. Especially because this community is the reason Little Rock AFB exists.
“The local community got together in 1952 to donate this land to the United States Air Force,” Schutte said.
The formation made its way across Central Arkansas. It included planes from past and present.
“We have two aircrafts with invasion stripe markings from the 314th airlift wing. They are responsible for training combat airlifters so we can project them across the nation,” Schutte said.
The aircraft leasing the way was a C-47 that has roots dating back to World War II.
“We used that throughout the Pacific and the European theaters and having it here in the lead in the midst of this heritage ariel demonstration was our attempt to connect the past into the present and think through the future,” Schutte said.
Major Michael Stinson was in charge of planning the flyover down to picking the planes involved.
“When you go out and you go to war and do the job you do it with the hope that no one really has to be impacted by it,” Stinson said.
Thursday all of Central Arkansas took notice of his work.
“My commander sent me a picture of his daughter at school that got to look up and see these planes fly over and the smile on her face was incredible,” Stinson said.
It’s those moments that prove as the base is saying thank you their way, the community is saying thank you right back.
“When you think about what COVID has done. It’s shut down so much for children and then you get to see them have that little tiny glimpse of happiness that’s worth every single bit of effort to do this,” Stinson said.