Sumter's fly-high neighbors will be taking part in a flyover during the national anthem performance at Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13.
According to the 20th Fighter Wing, five aircraft, representing the U.S. Air Force's 75 years as a service, will conduct a "first-of-its-kind" flyover at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. One of those five aircraft will be Shaw Air Force Base's very own Viper Demo Team, flying the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
"It is an absolute honor to get the opportunity to support the Super Bowl and showcase 75 years of air superiority with hundreds of thousands of fans," said Master Sgt. Brandon Baden, the Viper Demo Team's superintendent. "The demonstration teams train and perform all year to share the importance of aviation and inspire future generations; to get to support the Super Bowl together is going to be one of the highlights of my career."
The Viper Demo Team performs precision aerial maneuvers to demonstrate the combat capabilities of one of the U.S. Air Force's premier multi-role fighter aircraft, the F-16 Fighting Falcon, representing Shaw, according to Senior Airman Madeline Herzog, public affairs journeyman for the 20th Fighter Wing.
Via email, Herzog said the team works closely with the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation to create a unique demonstration for the U.S. Air Force, exhibiting the professional qualities the Air Force develops in the people who fly, maintain and support these aircraft. They support roughly 20 airshows and flyovers throughout the year, including the upcoming Shaw Air and Space Expo scheduled on April 2-3.
"The last time they supported the Super Bowl was in 2018," Herzog said. "This is the first time all four Air Combat Command demonstration teams and a P-51 with the Heritage Foundation will support the Super Bowl."
The Air Force Heritage Flight for the Super Bowl represents the service's ability to innovate, accelerate and thrive since its evolution from the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1947, according to the 20th Fighter Wing.
The Heritage Flight flyover will feature:
- P-51 Mustang from the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation, Chino, California;
- A-10 Thunderbolt from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona;
- F-16 Fighting Falcon from Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina;
- F-22 Raptor from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia; and
- F-35 Lightning from Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
There will be a live pregame stream from the formation while they get into position in the sky which will include special interviews and segments, according to the 20th Fighter Wing. Viewers can tune in to the Air Force Facebook page at 6 p.m. Eastern time for the broadcast.
For more information on the Shaw Air and Space Expo, visit www.shaw.af.mil/2022-Shaw-Air-Space-Expo.
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