Shaw to participate in Salute from the Shore

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The 20th Fighter Wing is participating in the 6th annual Salute from the Shore event beginning at Cherry Grove on July 4.

Two of the wing's F-16CM Fighting Falcons will fly south along the coast, demonstrating their capabilities to spectators gathered on the beaches for Independence Day.

"It's a great opportunity to see both current and vintage military aircraft fly down the coast on the 4th of July," said Lt. Col. Kevin Daugherty, 482nd Operations Group Detachment 1 special assistant. "You can enjoy great beaches, good fun, and an amazing fly-by of aircraft all at the same time. Many beaches will be covered in American flags and red, white and blue, so it's a great way to celebrate our Independence Day."

The Salute from the Shore flyover is scheduled to take place from 1 to 2 p.m.

"When the opportunity to participate in this event came up, the 79th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, "Tiger AMU," jumped on it without hesitation," said Master Sgt. Christopher Linkous, 20th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron lead production superintendent. "This opportunity allows us to improve community relations and demonstrate the capabilities of the F-16 for the wonderful citizens of South Carolina. Airmen of the 79th AMU are honored to participate in such a special event for the people of South Carolina."

Salute from the Shore is a local nonprofit organization that has coordinated a fly-by of military and vintage military aircraft along the shore of South Carolina starting at Cherry Grove, just north of Myrtle Beach, and ending at Hilton Head Island in the southern part of S.C.

Their mission is to honor the U.S. Armed Forces, past and present, through a free and public pass in review of the aircraft, said Daugherty.

"South Carolina's support of Shaw Air Force Base instills great pride in each and every airman," Linkous said. "This is evident by the large list of volunteers willing to give up their weekend to make this Fourth of July celebration possible for all of those whom support us."

The aircraft aerial parade begins with Shaw's F-16CM Fighting Falcons who will lead the vintage World War II aircraft down the South Carolina coast. The vintage aircraft will be grouped according to speed to give observers a quality experience.

"This is great for the Air Force because in addition to showing our appreciation for our great country, we are able to showcase the F-16 and symbolize the hard work and dedication of 20th Fighter Wing airmen," Daugherty said. "For the public, this hopefully serves to enhance the meaning and significance of our Independence Day holiday."

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Salute from the Shore urges visitors to salute by wearing and waving red, white and blue on the beaches during the flyover and also encourages participants to share their stories about why they love America and those that protect it by posting their own video and images of the event on social networks to be seen by American Armed Forces deployed throughout the world.

Participants can share online at www.salutefromtheshore.org, Facebook www.facebook.com/SalutefromtheShore, Twitter @July4Salute, #SalutefromtheShore and Instagram @July4salute, #SalutefromtheShore.

Corporations, businesses, foundations and individuals have stepped up to provide financial support to assist the owners of the vintage aircraft with their expenses and to provide funding for video and promotion.

Others interested in supporting this initiative are encouraged to contact the organizers or donate online at www.salutefromtheshore.org.

For more information or to view last year's Salute, visit www.salutefromtheshore.org.