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U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC)

Three Flyovers in One Day for Hampton Roads Squadrons

by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tatyana Freeman
16 November 2022

;NORFOLK, Va. - Two Hampton Roads squadrons conducted flyovers for three local college football games in honor of Veterans Day, November 12.

Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 2 flew over the Hampton University versus Elon University and Norfolk State University versus North Carolina Central University football games during the national anthem; additionally, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 conducted the same honor for the Old Dominion University versus James Madison University football game.

“The flyovers are to showcase Naval airpower and symbolically display the alliance each of our schools has with the United States Navy,” said Capt. Brian Becker, Commanding Officer and Professor of Naval Science of the Hampton Roads Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps (NROTC) Consortium and the coordinator of the flyovers. “Additionally, it allows each school to show their appreciation to all of the veterans of our U.S. armed forces in a group setting with a great atmosphere.”

The flyovers were part of Veterans Day events that NROTC units from each of the universities planned, marking the first time three flyovers were conducted for college games in the area in one day.

“It instills pride and excitement in America seeing a helicopter or jet flying over the stadium as the national anthem ends,” said Becker. “It also helps remind everyone of the sacrifices our veterans and their families have made during their service to our great country.”

As well as honoring service members who have previously served in the military, the flyovers highlight the service members currently serving and their presence in the area.

“Our Sailors understand that events like these strengthen the relationship between the community and the Navy,” said Becker. “Hampton Roads is the greatest concentration of Naval Forces in the world, so celebrating in our backyard is a special event for both the people watching and active-duty military in the area.”

The audiences were not the only ones enjoying the flyovers on Saturday. The crews participating in the flyovers were enjoying it just as much.

“This was one of many flyovers I've had the opportunity to be a part of,” said Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 1st Class Brandon Larnard, a Sailor assigned to HSC-2 that flew over both the Hampton University and Norfolk State University games. “It's always a good time as a sports fan seeing everyone cheering during the National Anthem.”

In addition to showcasing their abilities and being highlighted, the active duty service members also enjoyed being able to honor those who have served before them.

“Being a part of this during Veterans Day is especially rewarding,” said Larnard. “It's great being able to celebrate the many people who have served before me and afforded us all the freedom to enjoy the little things like cheering for our favorite teams. Seeing the fans excitement and patriotism during the flyover is a reminder of why we all swore an oath of enlistment and continue to defend this country.”

Veterans Day is celebrated every year on November 11th, honoring the anniversary of when the armistice between allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, marking the official end of World War I. Veterans Day honors all veterans of the United States military.


 
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