Night flying at Barnes Air National Guard Base

  • Published
Media Advisory
Release No. 16-27

Senior Master Sgt. Julie Avey, Public Affairs Specialist
Lt. Col. Brenda Hendricksen, Public Affairs Officer
413-568-9151 ext. 698-1299 or ext. 698-1800
Cell: (619) 665-4252

October 18, 2016

Night flying at Barnes Air National Guard Base

The 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Westfield Mass., is scheduled to conduct early evening training flights October 18 - October 21, 2016.

The early evening missions will launch from Barnes-Westfield Regional Airport in Westfield, Mass.

We do not want to alarm the residents around the local area who may be startled by the increase in aircraft activity during the evening hours.  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.

"Our Homeland Defense mission is a 24-hour mission and as such we need to be trained and ready to respond both during the day as well during the night at a moment's notice," said Maj. Brett Vanderpas of the 104th Fighter Wing Operations Group. 

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.

We often do not have the luxury of advance notice, however, when we can prepare for training missions such as these, we will try to share as much information as we can.   Thank you for your continued support.

The 104th Fighter Wing is equipped with the F-15 Eagle. One mission of the 104th is Aerospace Control Alert (ACA), providing armed fighters ready to scramble in a moment's notice to protect the Northeast from any airborne threat. The unit is responsible for protecting a quarter of the nation's population and one third of the Gross Domestic Product.