Super Bowl fans will be treated to several contributions from the US military on Sunday both in the security and entertainment realms.
The temporary no-fly zone over New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium, where the Super Bowl will take place, will be patrolled by F-16 fighters, according to Colonel Steve Warren. The National Guard will also afford security to the game, as well as promoting “community relations.” The game will be launched with an Army helicopter flyover. The national anthem will be sung by a 32-voice armed forces chorus, accompanied by a military color guard.
Warren said that the military often responds to requests for security at important public events such as the Super Bowl. The number of military flyovers, however, has been reduced over the past year due to budget cuts. So why is the military splurging for the Super Bowl with costly helicopter flyovers?
“This is the Super Bowl,” Warren said. “It’s an event of national prominence. We believe it benefits the U.S. military to provide this flyover.”
Warren added that the National Football League asked for a military flyover. Fans can expect to see a multi-ship formation that will likely include Apache attack helicopters, Black Hawks and Chinook transports. The projected cost of the flyover is between $90,000 and $100,000.
“This is the type of audience we want to connect with,” he said.
There was no estimate given for the overall cost of the military’s participation in the game.
Warren explained that budget cuts have prompted commanders to reduce, but not completely eliminate military flyovers. They are still done for particular funerals and for important events such as Sunday’s Super Bowl.