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20-021 190th Air Refueling Wing salutes healthcare workers and first responders with flyover

May 18, 2020 | By slarson

The Kansas Air National Guards 190th Air Refueling Wing is scheduled to perform an Operation Kansas Strong flyover across four Kansas cities to salute healthcare workers, first responders and other frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19. The flyovers will take place on Tuesday, May 19, beginning at 1 p.m. in Emporia, followed by Manhattan, Topeka and Lawrence. The detailed itinerary is below.

Col. Lee Norman, state surgeon for the Kansas Army National Guard, will be flying on the refueling tanker along with leaders from the Kansas National Guard. In addition to serving in the Kansas Army National Guard, Norman is secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. During the flyovers, Norman will be in contact with an individual from a hospital in each of the cities via radio.

As part of Operation America Strong to honor the health care workers, a KC-135 Stratotanker will fly over 17 key locations, including hospitals and police departments.

The 190th Air Refueling Wing salutes each Kansas citizen serving on the frontlines during the fight against COVID-19, said Col. Dan Skoda, 190th Air Refueling Wing commander. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to show our gratitude and solidarity on behalf of all of the Airmen and Soldiers of the Kansas National Guard and the members of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management to the thousands of Kansas heroes who are working tirelessly to battle COVID-19.

Kansas National Guardsmen will be on-site at one location in each city to support medical personnel, first responders and emergency management personnel.

All arrival times are subject to change based on weather, air traffic and airspace requirements, so flyover times may shift slightly.


  • 1 p.m. - Emporia Police Department
  • 1 p.m. - Newman Regional Health Hospital
  • 1 p.m. - Downtown Emporia


  • 1:13 p.m. - Riley County Police Department
  • 1:13 p.m. - Manhattan Surgical Hospital
  • 1:13 p.m. - Manhattan Vet Center
  • 1:13 p.m. - Ascension Via Christi Hospital
  • 1:15 p.m. - Downtown Manhattan


  • 1:26 p.m. - Stormont Vail Hospital
  • 1:26 p.m. - St. Francis Campus
  • 1:26 p.m. - State Capitol Building
  • 1:28 p.m. - Topeka Veteran Affairs Hospital
  • 1:29 p.m. - Topeka Police Department


  • 1:34 p.m. - Lawrence Memorial Hospital
  • 1:34 p.m. - Lawrence Police Department
  • 1:34 p.m. - Downtown Lawrence
  • 1:37 p.m. - Lawrence VA Hospital

The Operation Kansas Strong flyover is incorporated into previously scheduled training missions and will come at no additional cost to taxpayers while serving as vital training for aircrews.

Individuals are encouraged to take pictures of the flyover and tag #OperationKansasStrong on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.