Barnes over the Air . . .waves
By Capt Matthew Mutti, Wing Executive Staff Officer, 104FW
/ Published September 13, 2008
BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Massachusetts -- WAAF Boston is one of the market-leading radio stations in the North East, broadcasting throughout Western Mass. Rode Island and Connecticut. It was with this in mind that the state decided to work with one of its most notable personalities: "Mistress" Carrie, so that she could tell the Guard story to her listeners.
On Saturday, Aug 23rd, "Mistress" Carrie was tossed, tumbled, rocked and banked over the skies of Boston in a D-model F-15 on loan to us from the Portland Oregon Air National Guard. This media ride was tide directly to the state's push to reach its recruiting goals for 2008.
"Mistress" Carrie is not a stranger to the Massachusetts National Guard. In 2006 she joined an Army National Guard unit in Iraq and Kuwait to report on life in the Army National Guard. Carrie is a military brat who is not afraid to share her feelings of patriotism and pride for the nations military and emergency responders. She has worked on many projects to raise awareness; using her position as the DJ to market the military in a unique way.
At the beginning of September, the 104th Fighter Wing had topped 100% in manning; marking the first time we have reached this milestone in a decade or more. But the state still has room to grow. The 267th Combat Communication Squadron in the Eastern Massachusetts and other technical areas still find it difficult to reach their desired manning numbers.
With WAAF and the other marketing events coming this fall, the Mass. Air Guard is working to increase the states end-strength. Senior Master Sgt. Pete Johnson, Recruiting and Retention Superintendent for the Mass Air Guard has worked to highlight the Guard through multiple advertising and marketing programs.
Over the years, he has worked with the Red Sox, New England Patriots, New England Revolution, and on September 18th he will be working with the ANG's new spokesperson, country music artist, Laura Bryna.
Bryna's latest single 'Hometown Heroes' has been adopted as the Air National Guards new theme song, and Bryna was signed as its spokesperson in late 2007.
September 12th, she will be singing the national anthem at a Red Sox's game and on the 18th, she will be visiting the Soldiers Home in Holyoke before performing at the Eastern States Exposition at 1530.
"We are excited to work with Miss Bryna." said Senior Master Sgt. Johnson. "The Air National Guard has given her an opportunity to spread the guard story through her music and she, along with our continuous local advertising in other music genres, will give us a true media mix to reach any and all applicants."
Recruiting and Retention is a hot topic throughout the National Guard, and incentives and opportunities to help in these programs will continue to evolve. Currently the members of the 104th have embraced many of the new programs, but none so much as G-Rap (Guard Recruiter Assistance Program). Through G-Rap, each traditional or retired member can earn up to $4,000 for recruiting someone into the Guard.