104th FIghter Wing to Conduct Critical Wartime Tasking and Homeland Defense Training Exercise

  • Published
Media Advisory
Release No. 16-29
413-568-9151 x698-1800 or X698-1299
Lt. Col. Brenda Hendricksen
Senior Master Sgt. Julie Avey
Cell: (619) 665-4252

Nov 2, 2016,

104th Fighter Wing to Conduct Critical Wartime Tasking and Homeland Defense Training Exercise

The 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Westfield Mass., will be executing hot pit refueling training along with night flying November 2-5, 2016.

We do not want to alarm the residents in the local area who may be startled by the increase noise around the airfield. In order to increase the safety and efficiency on a limited number of sorties, 104th Fighter Wing aircraft may occasionally takeoff opposite to standard noise abatement procedures.  These sorties will remain a very low percentage of all sorties flown.

The training exercise will also include night flying.

The evening missions are a critical part of our required reoccurring pilot training.  The night training ensures our pilots are ready to respond to any airborne threat in the Northeastern United States, at any time, in any condition.

The pilots will be training on critical homeland defense and wartime aviation skills to defend our nation against terrorist threats and overseas conflicts. The required training is critical to assure our Airmen are prepared for homeland defense and wartime missions.

This training will include F-15 aircraft scheduled to take off and land in a non-standard direction to increase safety and efficiency when doing Hot Pits. Hot Pit training is rarely conducted and when accomplished it is with reduced number of aircraft.

Hot Pit refueling allows aircraft to rapidly launch after refueling and is a common practice throughout the Air Force. The training equips fuel technicians, crew chiefs, and pilots with the necessary preparations for war time taskings along with other various time-sensitive missions required to defend our nation.

The rapid refuels allow the aircraft to be refueled while the engines are running and thrusts the aircraft back into the fight with a rapid response to answer our nation's call.

The F-15 can hold close to 23,000 pounds or 1600 gallons of fuel in its tank, this procedure gets an aircraft refueled in as few as 5 minutes and the whole process complete within 15 minutes.

Training is carefully planned and closely controlled. The 104th Fighter Wing is charged with ensuring our personnel are trained, equipped, and ready to go to war as well as support domestic operations.

We would appreciate your help in sharing this news, to help alleviate the local residents from being alarmed.  With our 24/7 alert posture, our Airmen could respond to an airborne threat at any time protecting one quarter of the nation's population and one third of the its Gross Domestic Product.

Tasked to provide operationally ready combat units, combat support units and qualified personnel for active duty, the 104th Fighter Wing supports Air Force wartime contingency requirements and performs a variety of peacetime missions required by the Air Force and compatible mobilization readiness.