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Airman in Focus — Mr. John Richardson

Barnes Air National Guard Base, 104 Fighter Wing - Westfield, Mass -- Mr. John W. Richardson joined Barnes Air National Guard Base approximately 20 years ago, after working in both municipal and private sectors.

While working as a field artillery surveyor for the Army, Richardson was deployed to Germany, with the 3rd Infantry Division. The leadership of the Army taught him the importance of maintaining high standards, Richardson said.

He used the GI Bill to complete his degrees in geology and geography, spending two years each at Holyoke Community College and UMass Amherst.

In 1986, after graduating from University of Massachusetts, Richardson worked for an engineering company as a environmental analyst. He also worked for the City of Leominster, MA in the same capacity.

He began working here in November 1991 as the base environmental coordinator. Richardson always wanted to have a civilian job in the military because he knew it would be a rewarding career.

In his current job, his duty is to focus on maintaining compliance with several environmental laws can impact the 104th mission. Barnes ANG base is situated over the Barnes aquifer a drinking water resource for sever communities in the Pioneer Valley. Daily operations can have a direct impact in the City of Westfield Water supply. Under the Federal Facilities Compliance Act, all military installations must comply with the environmental laws for Local, US EPA, and Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection; otherwise face fines and or penalties.

We try to mitigate the influence our mission has on the environment, so that the conditions of the environment do not affect the mission in return, Richardson said.

"This is a good place to work for, with good people," Richardson said. "Col. Brooks and Col. Gunning are committed to keeping the environment safe and well maintained."