WATCH: Air Force Academy Graduation 2020, VP Pence gives commencement speech

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COLORADO SPRINGS– Vice President Mike Pence visited the Air Force Academy on Saturday to deliver the commencement address at the 2020 graduation ceremony.

WATCH: The Air Force Thunderbirds fly over the class of 2020.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, the ceremony occured without an audience, including friends and family, according to Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, the Academy’s superintendent. 

According to the Air Force Academy, the Cadets adhered to social distancing guidelines for the ceremony, marching eight feet apart and sitting eight feet apart during the event.

In all, 984 senior cadets will receive their bachelor’s degrees and commission as second lieutenants in the Air Force.

According to the Air Force, nearly 90 graduates will serve in the new Space Force, a separate service protecting U.S. and allied interests in space led by Raymond.

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein and Chief of Space Operations Gen. John Raymond, are scheduled to attend.

“For safety and out of respect for the situation our nation is enduring, I ask for your support,” Silveria said. “There will not be any spectators and we will minimize the footprint of faculty and staff as much as possible.”

Originally scheduled to address the graduating class by video message, Pence’s office announced a change of plans April 14 to attend in person.

The Air Force Thunderbirds flew over the class of 2020 in a Super Delta formation, which is an eight-ship configuration, instead or their normal Delta formation, a six-ship formation.

President Donald Trump gave commencement remarks last year to the class of 2019. Commencement speakers at service academy graduations rotate each year and typically include the president, the vice president, the secretary of defense and other senior Pentagon officials.

As of April 18, more than 52,000 men and women will have graduated from the Academy.

After the ceremony, the Air Force Thunderbirds will complete a flyover honoring first responders starting in Fort Collins and ending in Pueblo. Click here to view the flight schedule.

>>Click here to re-watch the full ceremony.

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