104th Fighter Wing to conduct Homeland Alert Air Defense (Fertile Keynote) Exercise

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The 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Westfield Mass., will be executing homeland alert air defense exercises on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. over Rutland, Vermont, and Lebanon and Concord, New Hampshire.

During this exercise, the F-15 Eagles will conduct low altitude intercepting and shadowing light civilian aircraft operated by the Civil Air Patrol. 

The training exercise will last for approximately one and one half hours.

The F-15 fighter jets conduct training with the Civil Air Patrol, which is flying a low-speed civilian propeller aircraft.  This exercise, in partnership with the Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS), is conducted to facilitate training for alert pilots on intercept procedures, ensuring the Massachusetts Air National Guard is prepared to defend the Northeast airspace against any airborne threat.

These exercises are carefully planned, closely controlled and include exercising airspace restriction violations, hijackings and responding to unknown aircraft. Communities near Albany New York and  may experience increased aircraft activity during the duration of this exercise.

With our 24/7 alert posture, our Airmen could respond to an airborne threat at any time, and we often do not have the luxury of advance notice, however, when we can prepare for a mission such as this, we will try to share as much information as we can.


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.