The Philadelphia Eagles will not be the only birds flying on Sunday, Feb. 12, when they face off against the Kansas City Chiefs for Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
The Navy will conduct a pregame flyover with three tactical aircraft squadrons, which will commemorate 50 years of women flying in the U.S. Navy, following the game’s National Anthem, according to a statement from the sea service.
The formation will include two F/A-18F Super Hornets from the “Flying Eagles” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 122 and an F-35C Lightning II from the “Argonauts” of VFA-147, all based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California. It will also include an EA-18G Growler from the “Vikings” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129, based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington. The squadrons will stage and depart from Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.
“It’s not a feeling I can even put into words,” Lt. Katie Martinez, a naval flight officer assigned to VFA-122, said in the statement. “It doesn’t get bigger than the Super Bowl, and I am humbled and honored to be able to participate with my friends and fellow naval aviators as part of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Five decades ago, in 1973, the first class of women naval aviators began flight school in Pensacola, Florida, according to Naval History and Heritage Command. Six of the eight women earned their Wings of Gold, it added.
Last week, the Navy released a series of digital trading cards for the 15 service members who will participate in the flyover.
The Eagles and Chiefs each advanced to the Super Bowl this past Sunday after winning their respective conference titles. Ahead of kickoff, the “Star Spangled Banner” will be performed by singer Chris Stapleton, according to a press release from the NFL.
Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media