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

Release Number: 011015

DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE
HEADQUARTERS 104TH FIGHTER WING (ANG)
BARNES AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, WESTFIELD MA

Media Advisory
Release No. 15-18
HOLD FOR RELEASE UNTIL OCTOBER 8, 2015, 10:00 A.M.
Contact:
usaf.ma.104-fw.list.pa@mail.mil
413-568-9151 x698-1800
Lieutenant Colonel Brenda Hendricksen, Public Affairs Officer

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

The 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base, Westfield Mass., will be executing a homeland alert air defense exercise on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. over the central New Hampshire area between Manchester and Lebanon.

During this exercise, the F-15 Eagles will be conducting low altitude intercepting, and shadowing light civilian aircraft operated by the Civil Air Patrol.  They will not be flying at supersonic speeds or dispensing any munitions.

We do not want to alarm the residence around the local area who may be startled by the increase in aircraft activity during this training exercise, which will last for approximately one hour.

The F-15 fighter jets will be conducting training with the Civil Air Patrol, which will be 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 in New Hampshire may experience increased aircraft activity during the duration of this exercise.

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, 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.

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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.