Via press release from the Pentagon:
Secretary Esper has approved a Department of the Interior request for DOD support to the 2020 Salute to America. DOD will provide aerial, musical and ceremonial support to this year’s celebration in Washington, D.C.
This year’s support will also include a flyover of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, as well an aerial salute to several cities that played roles in the American Revolution.
The highlight of this year’s celebration will be our salute to the Great Cities of the American Revolution. The flyovers will begin in Boston and proceed to New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore. From there they will join other Department of Defense and heritage aircraft in the Salute to America over our nation’s capital.
In all, roughly 1,700 service members will support the celebrations. The exact timing of the flyovers is still being worked and will be announced soon.
The flyovers provide an opportunity for DoD to demonstrate the capabilities and professionalism of the United States Armed Forces. Flying hours are a sunk cost for the Department of Defense, and these aircraft and crews would be using these hours for proficiency and training at other locations if they were not conducting these flyovers.
DoD is proud to help celebrate the nation’s 244th birthday. We are grateful for our nation’s support as we defend our country, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The Department of Defense is a bit defensive, no?