May 19, 2020 8:47 PM

Operation Kansas Strong flyover honored those on the front lines

Posted May 19, 2020 8:47 PM
KC-135 Stratotanker flying over Lawrence -photo courtesy Douglas County Emergency Management 
KC-135 Stratotanker flying over Lawrence -photo courtesy Douglas County Emergency Management 

MANHATTAN —The Kansas Air National Guard's 190th Air Refueling Wing completed Operation Kansas Strong flyover across four Kansas cities to salute healthcare workers, first responders and other front-line workers in the fight against COVID-19 on Tuesday afternoon.

The flyovers began at 1 p.m. in Emporia, followed by Manhattan, Topeka and Lawrence. 

Col. Lee Norman, state surgeon for the Kansas Army National Guard flew 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 flew over 17 key locations, including hospitals and police departments.

"The 190th Air Refueling Wing salutes each Kansas citizen serving on the front lines 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 were on-site at one location in each city to support medical personnel, first responders and emergency management personnel.


The arrival times were subject to change based on weather, air traffic and airspace requirements.

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.

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May 19, 2020 8:47 PM
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