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125th Fighter Wing to bring the “Sound of Freedom” to entire community on Tuesday’s Military Appreciation Day at THE PLAYERS

Four F-15 Eagles to fly over various Northeast Florida locations to honor and celebrate service members

WHAT: Even though health and safety protocols have resulted in the suspension of the 2021 Military Appreciation Day ceremony at THE PLAYERS Championship, the annual, celebrated flyover tradition will continue.  On Tuesday, March 9, the 125th Fighter Wing/FLANG will conduct a flyover of key locations in Northeast Florida, demonstrating THE PLAYERS’ and communitywide appreciation of our area’s heroes. Spectators at and near NAS Mayport, TPC Sawgrass, NAS Jacksonville and downtown Jacksonville are encouraged to step outside to witness the fixed wing jet flyovers.

Four F-15 Eagles from the 125th Fighter Wing will begin at NAS Mayport and proceed south along the coastline before flying over the 17th green and up the 18th fairway at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. From there, the 125th Fighter Wing will proceed west along the St. Johns River to NAS Jacksonville and over downtown Jacksonville before landing at Jacksonville International Airport. (see attached and below for the route)

Over the last year, the 125th Fighter Wing have played an especially crucial role in Florida’s COVID-19 response. Since March 2020, more than 580 125th Fighter Wing Airmen have been on duty at community-based testing sites, assisted living facilities, airports and food banks, providing a variety of support, including testing, screening, food distribution and traffic control support. Currently, there are 100 personnel activated across the entire state.

“The 125th Fighter Wing, Home of the Thunder, is extremely proud to perform the flyover for military appreciation day in honor of our fellow service members and community of supporters,” said Col. Matthew J. French, 125th Fighter Wing commander. “This year’s flyover will be even more meaningful as it’s an opportunity to show our gratitude to all of our Florida National Guardsmen, first responders and medical providers that are serving locally at COVID19 testing and vaccination sites, bringing peace and calm to our families, friends and neighbors throughout Jacksonville and across this great state. This is a small demonstration of a huge appreciation we have for their selfless service and steadfast resolve to support us all in these most trying times. Again, thanks to all, and when you hear our mighty F15 eagles thundering over, know that they’re from your 125th Fighter Wing, Where the Thunder is the Sound of Freedom!”

ADDITIONAL BACKGROND: The 125th Fighter Wing executes a diverse mission set with more than 1,600 citizen-Airmen assigned to 25 units, operating across seven geographically separated locations. In addition to its F-15 air superiority mission, citizen-Airmen provide experienced CV-22 operations and maintenance support to critical Air Force Special Operations Command missions from Hurlburt Field, operate counter-space systems at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, provide joint force-communications from MacDill Air Force Base, and deliver rapid engineer, heavy construction and repair capability, as well as combat weather forecasting, from Camp Blanding Joint Training Center.

WHEN/WHERE:  Tuesday, March 9, 2021

  • 11:57 a.m.          NAS Mayport
  • Noon                    TPC Sawgrass (over #17, up #18 fairway and over the clubhouse)
  • 12:03 p.m.          NAS Jacksonville
  • 12:05 p.m.          St. Johns River and downtown Jacksonville


MEDIA: Emily Tillo, THE PLAYERS Championship, 904-424-8572