110313 - Mayor Knapik visits the 104th Fighter Wing to check on the runway project

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During the scheduled runway construction at Barnes Air National Guard Base this fall, the unit's F-15 operations will be split between the 102nd Intelligence Wing in Cape Cod and the 439th Air Reserve Wing in Chicopee Mass.

The 104th Fighter Wing will maintain its alert posture within the existing alert-infrastructure at Cape Cod while the training missions will fly out of Westover Air Reserve Base.

"We anticipate approximately twelve F-15s will be based at Westover as we complete our construction projects here at Barnes," said Col. James Keefe, 104th Fighter Wing Commander. "Operating our training missions out of Westover Air Reserve Base will allow us to maintain our proficiency, while we maintain our alert posture at Otis."

As previously announced, some of the 104th Fighter Wing members and aircraft will simultaneously operate the alert mission from the Cape, utilizing some of the preexisting infrastructure that was left in place following the F-15s transition to Westfield in 2008.

The expected runway repair time is 4-6 months, beginning this summer. The jets are expected to return to Barnes at the end of this calendar year.

"Westover is glad to support the 104th Fighter Wing by hosting some of their F-15Cs for as long as necessary," said Col. Steven Vautrain, 439th Airlift Wing Commander. "In these times of austerity, we're glad to make every effort to be a Total Force partner and keep operating costs as low as possible."