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104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base named Air Control Alert Unit of the Year

Release Number: 020616

(104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Air National Guard Base Westfield, March 9, 2016) -- The 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, Massachusetts has been named the "Air Control Alert Unit of the Year" by the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region - 1st Air Force (CONR-1AF/AFNORTH).  A component of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the Continental U.S. NORAD Region (CONR) provides airspace surveillance and control and directs aerospace control activities for the continental United States (CONUS).

The ACA mission is to protect Northeastern United States with 24/7 alert teams, ready to launch at any moment.  The 104th Fighter Wing commenced the Air Control Alert (ACA) mission in February of 2010, after the conversion from the A-10 Thunderbolt to the F-15 Eagle. 

Additionally, Staff Sgt. Trevor Tompkins of the 104th Fighter Wing was named "First Air Force Maintainer of the Year".  Sergeant Tompkins was selected as the best maintainer of 16 ACA units. Among other accolades his superior workmanship and attention to detail led to a 98.5% pass rate on 67 inspections for 2015 Maintenance Standardization and Evaluation Program.

"These winners competed against nominees from across the entire enterprise, so the competition was extremely tough," said Lieutenant General William H. Etter, 1st Air Force (Air Force North) and Commander Continental North American Aerospace Defense Command Region.

"We worked very hard as a team last year and our efforts were recognized by Lieutenant General Etter and his staff," said 104th Fighter Wing Commander Colonel James Keefe.
"We will continue to keep the defense of the homeland as our wing's number one priority.  This mission touches all sections of the 104th and everyone executed at an extremely high level and it showed."

The 104th Fighter Wing was recently recognized with several other national-level awards including the "Best Maintenance Unit" at Red Flag 16-1; out of 23 maintenance units. Participants included Army, Navy, Air Force, Active Duty, Guard, and Reserves and Coalition partners Australia and the United Kingdom.
The 104th Fighter Wing

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For more information and/or interviews, please contact Master Sgt. Julie Avey at usaf.ma.104-fw.list.pa@mail.mil or (413) 568-9151, x698-1800.