By Col. Robert "L.A." Brooks, Wing Commander, 104th Fighter Wing
/ Published March 13, 2010
BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Massachusetts -- Barnestormers:
We achieved two of our FY 2010 goals by becoming operational in the F-15 on 1 Feb and standing up Air Sovereignty Alert on 15 Feb. The road was not easy, yet we still accomplished our objectives due to your hard work and determination. We are now less than one month away from our first major inspection in the F-15 with our Alert Force Evaluation on the horizon. There is a good chance the inspection will happen prior to our next drill; this is our first priority. The Air Force Operational Assessment highlighted some areas we need to zero in on and fix prior to the NORAD IG team arriving. The exact date of the inspection is not known, the IG team will show up unannounced and the inspection will commence. While the IG team is here, just be who you are and do what you do and we will be fine. The key is proper preparation and fixing areas that need it.
Speaking of inspections, our Base Environmental Team led by John Richardson just faced an environmental multi -media no notice inspection from the Mass DEP the first week in March. Several folks were singled out during the inspection including Jen Marsh, Greg Liptak, MSgt Andy Charron, TSgt Yvan Wampler, MSgt Rich Kuras, MSgt Robert Oleksak, TSgt James Ingari, TSgt Robert Gleason, TSgt Ken McElroy, MSgt Robert Stec, and SSgt Jason Loring. The Environmental team was also the 2008-2009 Electronic Reuse and Recycling Campaign Award Winner, and John Richardson won the 2009 Environmental Quality Award from NGB. Thanks to the entire environmental team for taking care of business and continuing the positive momentum here in the 104th Fighter Wing.
Our medical group deployed Lt Col Rockwell , Lt Col Carlson, Capt. Burgess , TSgt Perez-Santa, TSgt Tony Linton to Paraguay for our State Partnership for Peace program. We have several folks who have deployed in support of the Global War on Terror, and several more that are still deployed in hostile combat AOR's. I want to thank each and every one of you for your service to our great nation.
Our air show is set this summer for 21-22 Aug. The USAF Thunderbird demonstration team will fly in and perform on both days. Lt Col Fedora, Major Leahy, and Major Mutti did a superb job of scheduling some great demonstrations for our show. While the event will take a lot of work, the public relations and recruiting opportunities will be worth the effort. The money taken in for our T'bolt Council can be used for donations, charities, and to help those generally in need. In a nutshell, we help take care of airman and their families, and the local community.
April drill will bring several Distinguished Visitors onto our base including several General Officers, Civilian Leaders, and possibly the 1st AF Commander, Major General Dean. We will host a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Alert Operations Area, the Munitions Area, and our New Fire Station. A lot of work has gone into IOC and ASA standup from the entire base. While the following is a quote from the AFNORTH A-4, I think it is applicable to the entire wing, and an indicator that we are on our way to becoming the most respected Fighter Wing in the combat air force: "I'd like to congratulate you and your team for tackling the enormous task of simultaneous conversion and ASA standup, with some of the oldest Eagles in the inventory. We are seriously impressed with your maintenance team's enthusiasm and their ability to learn on the fly"....the 104th is.... "a first class organization and we really appreciate their effort".