Boston Marathon & State Support
By Capt. Matthew Mutti, Wing Executive Staff Officer, 104 Fighter Wing
/ Published May 02, 2009
BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Massachusetts -- There is no question that the Guard is one of the most versatile organizations within the state. Every time you look around there is a new and unique way that members of the guard can support the state and the country.
April 20th was no exception. 30 members of the 104th Fighter Wing went the distance to support the 114th running of the Boston Marathon.
At 5:00 a.m. members boarded a bus that would take them to miles 10-13 on the route of one of the most recognizable marathons in the world.
Their mission was simple, aide the Natick police in protecting the runners and spectators along the running route.
With radios in hand, these members went off to serve in a unique state support mission. Many of the volunteers had no experience in law enforcement, in fact, the volunteers were from career fields like personnel, supply, maintenance, logistics, communications, civil engineering and the band.
These members from various back-grounds also brought with them a multitude of civilian experiences, in that only 8 of the volunteers were part of the base's full-time staff.
In December of 2008, the depth of civilian experience was vital to the success of Operation BIG ICE, where members from the 104th Fighter Wing worked with the Mass. Emergency Management Agency to protect and serve the citizens that were displaced by a disastrous ice storm.
Throughout the year, many opportunities exist for members to support these unique missions. On the 4th of July the National Guard will provide support to the Boston and State Police as they celebrate independence day on the Esplanade. In addition, on 8-13 July the National Guard will support Sail Boston through it's Emergency Operations Center. These are just events to that members can volunteer for.
Volunteering for opportunities like this don't just help you build your military and civilian resumes, they also allow you insight into how other organizations work and the interdependence they have with the Air Guard.