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Spouses take flight at Barnes

Barnes Air National Guard Base, 104 Fighter Wing - Westfield, Mass -- More than 30 spouses of unit members here took a flight on KC-135 Stratotanker on Friday, October 21, 2010.

This flight gives the spouses an idea of what we do out here, said Lt. Col. Dan Nash, the chief of standard evaluation, who helped coordinate the flight.

After more than an hour and a half of flying, the passengers deplaned with bright smiles on their faces. It was an awesome, morale-boosting experience, said Andrea Jeffers, the wife of Tech. Sgt. Stephen Jeffers, who works in Security Forces.

The group of spouses were split up into two different aircrafts, which was done in order to prevent crowding against the windows. The KC-135 is an aerial refueling plane, and the two that were used for this event were flown down from Pease Air National Guard Base in New Hampshire. During the flight, the passengers had the opportunity to view the refueling process for our unit's F-15s. As they walked off the flight line, many remarked how memorable the flight was and how they appreciated that everyone was given a chance to take personal photos.

It was amazing to see how close the planes were as they refueled, Mrs. Jeffers said.
The base offers spouse flights once a year as a means of strengthening family connections.

It was a fun and exciting experience, said Heather Diem, the wife of Master Sgt. David Diem from the Communications Flight. Events like this help us feel like an actual part of the base, not just an extension, she said.