HomeNewsArticle Display

Super Bowl LV flyover took months of planning, coordination

Air Force Global Strike Command bombers perform the Super Bowl LV flyover at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., Jan. 7, 2021. The trifecta was the first of its kind as it included a B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., a B-2 Spirit from Whiteman AFB, Mo., and a B-52H Stratofortress from Minot AFB, N.D. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob B. Wrightsman)

Air Force Global Strike Command bombers perform the Super Bowl LV flyover at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., Jan. 7, 2021. The trifecta was the first of its kind as it included a B-1B Lancer from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., a B-2 Spirit from Whiteman AFB, Mo., and a B-52H Stratofortress from Minot AFB, N.D. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jacob B. Wrightsman)

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. (AFNS) --

For fans watching the Super Bowl Feb. 7, the Air Force Global Strike Command tri-bomber flyover over Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, lasted seconds.

For the team planning this historic event, however – the first flyover of a major sporting event featuring a B-1B Lancer, B-2 Spirit and B-52 Stratofortress – the flyover has taken months of hard work.

“We started doing our initial planning for this flyover back in March of 2020,” said Katie Spencer, Sports Outreach Program manager and Aerial Events coordinator for the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Office. “The bomber trifecta flyover is something that Carla Pampe, the AFGSC chief of civic outreach, had been pitching to us for about four years, and this year it worked out for us to do it.”

Spencer and her team worked with Pampe to get the flyover approved by Gen. Timothy Ray, the AFGSC commander. Once the flyover was approved at the major command level, Maj. Kendall Smith, the Directorate of Operations’ Command lead, Bomber Force Management, began coordinating with the bomber units to see who was available to support the event.

“I reached out to all of our bomb wings and began working with them to see who had operational commitments that might conflict with the Super Bowl date,” Smith said. “Then the wing commanders all got together to decide which wings would actually fly the event, and which units would send aircrew and maintainers to Tampa to represent the Air Force and AFGSC in media interviews on the ground.”

After the units doing the flyover and static display in Tampa were selected, operational planning could begin.

Lt. Col. Chris McAlear is the chief of the Air Combat Command Aerial Events Branch, and for the Super Bowl, served as the ground controller who vectors the aircraft in for the actual flyover.

“This flyover took a lot of extra coordination, because we were working with three different wings at three different bases. Normally you’re working with one unit who is used to doing these types of flyovers, so it was a new dynamic for us.” McAlear said. “Once we got the final aircrews selected and got the times from the NFL on when the National Anthem would end, I put together a detailed event briefing for the three flying crews.”

This briefing included maps of the area around the stadium, the staging area where the bombers would come together prior to the flyover, videos of the run in to the stadium, altitudes, time on target and more.

“It’s basically everything the aircrews would need to know to get them safely in and out of the flyover area,” McAlear said. “In addition, we had to coordinate with the tanker aircraft at MacDill (Air Force Base) to schedule (KC-135 Stratotankers) for refueling of the flyover aircraft, so in all, a lot of teamwork.”

The flyover also meant a lot of planning at each wing supporting the event, because for each aircraft flying, there was a backup aircraft in case of maintenance issues.

“We have contingency plans in place with backups for all three aircraft, so that means a lot of coordination with aircrew and maintainers on the ground,” Smith said. “There were literally hundreds of Airmen involved in supporting this event from throughout the command.”

In the month leading up to the big event, aircrews and maintainers supporting the flyover were media trained by their public affairs teams at home station, and interviews were done at each base prior to the actual Super Bowl event.

“One of the reasons we do flyovers in the Air Force is to inspire patriotism and future generations of aviation enthusiasts, and our aircrew and maintainers are great messengers to share the Air Force story,” said Jennifer Bentley, chief of policy and public outreach for the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs Office. “This is also an amazing way to showcase the capabilities of our aircraft to the American public.”

In the end, Bentley hoped all the effort and coordination that took place would culminate in a flawless flyover of Super Bowl LV.

“As the bombers soar over Super Bowl LV this year, the public will see a showcase of American airpower, and hopefully feel inspired and proud,” she said. “But this flyover is also a testament to the hundreds of Airman and civilians behind the scenes who worked months and long hours to make it happen.”

Engage

Twitter
Capt. Joseph Scerra, an F-15C Eagle pilot, is the first 159th FW pilot to complete a sortie w/ the F-35A. The miles… https://t.co/HCi9TnGn5S
Twitter
The 92nd Medical Group at @TeamFairchild, Washington, honed their skills during a week-long readiness exercise. Dir… https://t.co/RDEqLsy2hJ
Twitter
The Air Force Sustainment Center Contracting Directorate @RobinsAFB_GA hosted the First Look Program workshop. The… https://t.co/uhYMqYR5d5
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Under Secretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones launched her official Twitter account last week! Follow @UnderSecAF
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: #OTD we celebrate the official end of #WWII and the anniversary of the formal signing of the Instrument of Surrender abo…
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Actions meeting words: In his confirmation hearing, SecAF Kendall said: “Our military is people first and foremost.” Y…
Twitter
Lt. Gen. Robert Miller, U.S. Air Force Surgeon General, visited the Center for Sustainment of Trauma & Readiness Sk… https://t.co/Pv571RpgaW
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF's message to #Airmen on their extraordinary efforts to evacuate U.S. citizens & others from #Afghanistan: "You off…
Twitter
The @39thAirBaseWing at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, reaches a milestone with its Agile Combat Employment program.… https://t.co/u4ucRL8duB
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: “We achieve deterrence by having a strong enough force that the potential enemy is afraid of us. That’s my job; to give…
Twitter
Airmen from Moody AFB, Georgia, conducted training near @SLDelta45 to prepare for operations supporting #SpaceX and… https://t.co/iBAAGOnsVn
Twitter
Reserve #Airmen from the @403rdWing at Kessler Air Force Base, Miss., joined over 250 Air Force Reservists and 4,0… https://t.co/yGq4xIPXbD
Twitter
A B-52 Stratofortress is rinsed off after a mission at Andersen AFB, Guam. Known as bird baths, this quick rinse… https://t.co/Q0N83eWt0V
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr was ceremoniously conferred a pin from the French Air and Space Force's Fighter Squadron 2/4 Lafayet… https://t.co/CLqypWZMPt
Twitter
#ICYMI - @USAF_ACC declared initial operational capability for the tactical air control party mobile communications… https://t.co/p09eQw9QXh
Twitter
RT @HQUSAFEAFAF: To date, @RamsteinAirBase has facilitated 42+ aircraft departures carrying more than 10,000 evacuees en-route to the USA a…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: With allies and partners, @INDOPACOM is committed to enhancing the stability in the Asia-Pacific region, by building secu…
Twitter
Aircraft and maintainers from across the #AirForce traveled to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, to particip… https://t.co/w2xSJtXNr1
Twitter
RT @HollomanAFB: #Airmen continue to establish support facilities, while also creating additional infrastructure, for the arrival of Afghan…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,371,810
Follow Us