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932nd Airlift Wing salutes local heroes

A small crowd gathered outside Memorial BJC Hospital East in Shiloh to watch the C-40 flyover. Shiloh Mayor Jim Vernier was thankful the weather allowed for many to come out to see the salute. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. —An Air Force Reserve C-40C aircraft from the 932nd Airlift Wing saluted local medical professionals and first responders during a flyover on Monday, May 25.  The Memorial Day flight departed from Scott Air Force Base.

The C-40C aircraft flew over the Belleville Memorial Hospital, St. Elizabeth’s, Memorial East, St. Joseph’s in Highland, Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, and will conclude near the VA Medical Center at Jefferson Barracks on the Missouri side of the river before heading back to base.  This flyover was a part of the U.S. Air Force’s OPERATION: AMERICA STRONG effort to salute those at the forefront of the COVID-19 response. Protecting our nation has taken a new shape, and the Illinois Reserve unit is proud to serve alongside first responders and essential personnel in the COVID-19 response efforts. Currently, 24 medical members of the 932nd Airlift Wing are mobilized nationwide to help with COVID-19. This flyover salute was conducted at no additional cost to the taxpayer and is accomplished in conjunction with regularly scheduled training.

“We not only have our own Reserve Citizen Airmen deployed in the fight against COVID-19, but many 932nd AW Reservists also work in local medical facilities,” said Col. Glenn Collins, 932nd Airlift Wing commander. “This training flight is a way to honor all health care workers and first responders who protect the people of this great nation.  We are proud of the sacrifice medical heroes have made working both locally and nationally on the front lines to keep our citizens safe from COVID-19,” he said.  The 932nd Airlift Wing is an Air Force Reserve Command unit of approximately 1,100 Reservists who train in Illinois.