A training exercise is scheduled for the 104th Fighter Wing stationed at Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield this Thursday through Sunday.  The training event is to hon the skills of the fighter unit in order to be prepared to lend support when needed to both the State of Massachusetts and Federal missions when needed according to the release.

According to the release by a representative from the 104th Fighter Wing, residents in the area can expect to see simulated smoke and hear weapons fire and explosions on or near the base during the exercise.   In addition pilots will be flying more frequently than normal during the 4-day period in order to prepare and train as many pilot and maintainers as possible according to the release.

The release adds "this exercise is critical to maintaining the highest degree of readiness for us to execute our mission in the community, and also anywhere in the world when called upon."

What is the 104th Fighter Wing as stated by the recent press release...

"The 104th Fighter Wing is made up of highly trained personnel ready to provide Air Superiority on-demand anywhere in the world with 21 assigned F-15C Eagle Aircraft. The 104th is trained to provide 24/7 Aerospace Control Alert, providing armed F-15 fighters ready to scramble in a moment’s notice to protect the northeast United States from any airborne threat, security for one quarter of the nation’s population and over one-third of the Gross Domestic Product. The Wing is always on call for emergency response to include security, logistics, communications, explosive ordnance disposal, firefighting, and medical support to the nation and Commonwealth of Massachusetts."

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