NEWARK, DE – Moments before kickoff Saturday, as the University of Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens prepare to face the South Dakota State University Jackrabbits in their collegiate football game, thousands of fans at Delaware Stadium will see a flyover by Delaware Air National Guard C-130 aircraft manned by aircrew from the 166th Airlift Wing in New Castle, Del.
The flyover is scheduled to occur at the playing of the last note of the National Anthem just prior to kickoff, estimated as roughly between 1:00 p.m. and 1:05 p.m. One or two aircraft will join in the flyover, conducted during the University of Delaware’s Band Day/Service Appreciation Day.
“Our Citizen-Airmen in the sky are thrilled to tip our C-130 aircraft wings over the gridiron of Tubby Raymond Field just before kickoff. We are honored to be invited to provide this aerial display over Delaware stadium during this football game that helps to recognizes the principal of service to our community,” said Col. Jonathan Groff, 166th Airlift Wing Commander. “Coincidently, this weekend our Delaware Air Guard Airmen will reach a milestone by surpassing 170,000 safe flying hours in our aircraft fleet, a milestone earned during peacetime and during combat flying.”
Two Delaware Air National Guard C-130s performed their first flyover of Delaware Stadium last year just before kickoff in the inaugural football matchup of the U.D. Blue Hens v. the Delaware State University Hornets on Sept. 19, 2009.
Several hundred Delaware Air Guard Airmen are spending this year conducting local training missions as they prepare for extended missions in Afghanistan next year. Delaware aircrews and unit C-130 aircraft regularly deploy worldwide to provide airlift services in support of U.S. military and humanitarian operations, including multiple mobilizations for missions in Southwest Asia as part of operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
FAST COMPARISON FACTS – Delaware Air National Guard and South Dakota Air National Guard, and University of Delaware v. South Dakota State University
Delaware Air National Guard: founded in 1946, with a current membership of 1,100 Citizen-Airmen. The only flying wing of the Delaware ANG: The 166th Airlift Wing. Delaware National Guard nickname: Blue Hens Chicks, won after valiant fighting during the battle of Long Island in 1776 between the Continental Army and the British. Aircraft flown: C-130H transport aircraft. Tail fin marking: The First State. Website: www.166aw.ang.af.mil. Delaware Air Guard Airmen have carried the State of Delaware flag onto every continent on earth during peacetime training, humanitarian or wartime missions; unit C-130 aircraft have flown onto every continent except Antarctica and Australia.
South Dakota Air National Guard: founded in 1946. The only flying wing of the South Dakota ANG: The 114th Fighter Wing. Nickname: the Lobos. Aircraft flown: F-16 fighter aircraft. Tail fin marking: pouncing wolf, ‘Lobos’ fin band. Website: www.114fw.ang.af.mil.
College sports team nicknames: University of Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens; South Dakota State University Jackrabbits.