Release No. 17-37
SMSgt Julie Avey
413-568-9151 ext. 698-1299
Cell: (413) 564-9273
October 20, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
104th Fighter Wing to Conduct Critical Night Flying Training
BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, WESTFIELD, Mass. - The 104th Fighter Wing of the Massachusetts Air National Guard will conduct night training flights from Monday, Oct. 23, 2017 through, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Area residents will see and hear F-15C aircraft taking off and landing until about 9:00 p.m. during this period.
The missions will launch from Barnes-Westfield Regional Airport in Westfield, Mass. F-15C Eagle Pilots and maintenance personnel are required to conduct night operations as a part of their overall readiness training.
“We appreciate our community and their outstanding support of the 104th Fighter Wing’s mission,” said Col. James Suhr. “We want to ensure the community understands how important night currency is to our combat readiness and is not surprised by our planned night flying.”
The pilots will be training on both critical homeland defense and overseas wartime aviation skills.
“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 over one-third of 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-15C Eagle. The wing is tasked to deploy when needed to provide Air Superiority anywhere in the world and to perform Aerospace Control Alert (ACA), with armed fighters ready 24/7 to scramble in a moment's notice to protect the Northeast United States from any airborne threat. The unit is responsible for protecting a quarter of the nation's population and over one-third of the Gross Domestic Product.