BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mass. --
Governor Charlie Baker, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congressman Richard Neal, Mayor Brian Sullivan, Senator Donald Hummason, Representative John Velis and Maj. Gen. Gary Keefe joined the men and women of the 104th Fighter Wing at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of the renovated main hangar, March 9, 2018.
Speakers included Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Congressman Richard Neal, and the Adjutant General, Massachusetts National Guard Maj. Gen. Gary W. Keefe.
“The renovated Aircraft Maintenance Hangar at the Barnes Air National Guard was an important project to benefit the 104th Fighter Wing and its mission readiness," said Governor Charlie Baker. “From the US-Canadian border to Washington, D.C., the 104th is always ready to respond on a moment’s notice, and this hangar will ensure that maintenance personnel has everything they need to keep the aircraft fully mission capable.”
The 104th Fighter Wing is equipped with the F-15 Eagle. One mission of the 104th FW is Aerospace Control Alert, providing armed fighters ready to scramble at a moment's notice to protect the Northeast from any airborne threat. The unit is responsible for protecting a quarter of the nation's population and over one-third of the Gross Domestic Product.
"Today's dedication and opening of the renovated Aircraft Maintenance Hangar at the Barnes Air National Guard is a welcome accomplishment," said Congressman Richard E. Neal. "The 104th Fighter Wing now has a modern facility with state-of-the-art equipment to better support the tremendous work that they do - keeping the aircraft in good condition so that they are equipped and prepared should a call to action be commanded. This hangar will not only provide the personnel a better facility to work to ensure the aircraft is mission capable, it will continue to safeguard the 104th Fighter Wing's reliability to the United States Air Force."
The hangar was rebuilt with safety and energy efficiency in mind to extend the capabilities of the 104th FW for future generations. One example is the environmental friendly translucent panel doors installed to save money and provide natural lighting for the work space. The construction is certified as Leadership Energy Environmental Design Silver. The LEED certification is designed to support public health and our environment. The hangar facility provides Airmen of the 104th FW an efficient and safe work space to continue to keep aircraft maintained in support of the air dominance mission.
"It's a great day for the men and women of the 104th Fighter Wing,” said Maj. Gen. Gary Keefe, The Adjutant General, Massachusetts National Guard. “Like every winning team, the 104th as America's premiere Air National Guard unit, depends on its people, equipment and facilities to get the job done. This new maintenance hangar will provide our pilots, mechanics, and ground crews modern work space to ensure that every F-15 is maintained to the highest standard of readiness to meet the mission. The renovated hangar provides improved work space for the present day and positions the 104th Fighter Wing to be ready to accept the next generation of Air Force fighter jets to ensure that the Massachusetts Air National Guard remains an indispensable component of America's air defense well into the twenty-first century."
In addition to protecting the nation's air space around the clock, Airman from the 104th FW deploy people and equipment in support of its federal mission globally and provides well trained personnel and equipment here at home as part of its state mission to respond to natural disasters and civil emergencies when called upon by the Governor.
“It was an honor to be selected to cut the ribbon on the renovated hangar during the ceremony with all of the dignitaries present, but the biggest honor to me is to have been part of providing the 104th Fighter Wing maintainers with a state-of-the-art facility to allow them to safely and effectively do their jobs,” said Maj. Sean Cahill, the project manager.
The technological and environmentally friendly renovations to the hangar include; fall arrest systems, infrared heaters, stratification fans, energy efficient hangar bay lights, translucent panels on hangar doors.
“The completion of this hangar which includes space to work on up to six aircraft, renovated maintenance repair shops, and improved office space is a major upgrade to our ability to generate air superiority for America,” said Col. James M. Suhr, commander of the 104th Fighter Wing.