Release No. 17-33
SMSgt Julie Avey
413-568-9151 ext. 698-1299
Cell: (413) 564-9273
August 17, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thousands attend successful 104th Fighter Wing Open House in conjunction with the Westfield International Airshow
BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, WESTFIELD, Mass. – The 104th Fighter Wing Open House in conjunction with the Westfield International Airshow held August 12-13, 2017 was well attended by approximately 92,000 attendees. Colonel James “Sling” Suhr, 104th Fighter Wing Commander would like to thank our spectators, sponsors, performers, community, and National Guard members for their outstanding support.
A special thank you to law enforcement from throughout Western Massachusetts who coordinated traffic flow with airshow parking teams ensuring a safe and efficient experience for all in attendance.
The show began with the U. S. Army Special Operations Command Parachute Demonstration Team “Black Daggers” descending from the sky into Stanley Park, Westfield, Massachusetts, followed by several aerial demonstrations at Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport. The show featured multiple military and civilian aircraft of all sizes and types from the World War II era through today, both flying and on static display. The show concluded each day with U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.
"It was an opportunity to give back to the community for the support they provide the base and to showcase the proud Airmen of the 104th Fighter Wing," said Suhr.
The goal of the airshow was to hold an open house to inform our neighbors, wow airplane enthusiasts, display military capabilities, and get people excited about careers in the Air National Guard.
“I’d like to thank the community for their patience with the traffic. Our new traffic and parking plan was outstanding. Over the course of the three day event we were able to park 17,000 cars in our lots and accommodate thousands of walk-ons from other lots, homes, and businesses for a total of approximately 92,000 visitors. We could not have done this so successfully without the support of Westfield and the surrounding areas,” said Suhr.
In addition to the flying acts each day, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds visited with a civil air patrol group, Veterans from the Holyoke Soldiers Home, and children at a local hospital. The U.S. Thunderbirds also flew a Westfield Hometown Hero in honor of his volunteerism in our community. Eric Bishop, deputy fire chief for Westfield, volunteers with the Westfield Schools teaching “Science in the Real World,” volunteers with the Senior Safe program to teach fire safety, Westfield YMCA, and the American Red Cross.