Team MacDill kicks off support for Super Bowl LV

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Shannon Bowman
  • 6th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

MacDill Air Force Base has kicked off efforts to support multiple national and local agencies responsible for providing safety and security of the airspace over Raymond James Stadium for Super Bowl LV, in Tampa, Florida on Feb. 7, 2021.

“We are excited to host all of our partners who are working together to make Super Bowl LV safe,” said Col. Ben Jonsson, 6th Air Refueling Wing commander.

Charged with directing Super Bowl LV air defenses is the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), who has protected the skies over Super Bowls for the past 20 years. Along with NORAD, agency partners including the FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Federal Aviation Administration, Tampa Police Department and the Civil Air Patrol, will combine forces and efforts to ensure the safety and security of the skies over the stadium. 

In its first event leading up to the Super Bowl, Team MacDill hosted members of the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region (CONR), who conducted a Super Bowl LV air defense media day on MacDill’s flight line on Jan. 29.

During the media event, CONR and interagency subject matter experts, explained their respective roles in partnering in NORAD’s mission to protect the skies over Super Bowl LV to local media representatives.

“We are here to keep the Super Bowl safe, provide air superiority and air cover so that everyone can enjoy the game,” said Lt. Col. Alex Edwards, 125th Fighter Wing, Detachment 1 commander.

In addition to hosting the agencies responsible for  air security, MacDill will also carry-out air refueling missions with Air Force Global Strike Command bomber aircraft, which will conduct a first-of-its-kind trifecta flyover during the National Anthem performance at the fifty-fifth Super Bowl. The three-ship flyover formation will include a B1-B Lancer from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, a B-2 Spirit from Whiteman AFB, Missouri and a B-52 Stratofortress from Minot AFB, North Dakota.

MacDill’s KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft and crews will provide air refueling support enabling the AFGSC bombers to reach Raymond James Stadium and return to their respective bases nonstop.

“We provide fuel everyday across the globe to secure our interests and project deterrence,” said Jonsson. “We’re excited to do that mission right here in Tampa as we get ready for the Super Bowl.”

MacDill will have a multi-faceted role ahead of Super Bowl LV to include supporting NORAD’s air defense mission. The other is providing air refueling support to AFGSC aircraft conducting the Super Bowl flyover. However, just as they do every day, MacDill’s Airmen stand ready to ensure that the 6th ARW’s ability to provide air refueling, installation and mission support is unmatched.