104th Fighter Wing to conduct a Homeland Defense Exercise

The exercise might affect northern Mass. communities

WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The 104th Fighter Wing from Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield will be conducting training exercises in the area with two F-15 Eagles.

According to Senior Master Sgt. Robert J. Sabonis, the training is scheduled for July 2nd from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The “Homeland Defense (Fertile Keynote) Exercise” will take place over Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York.

Local communities that will be affected the most are North Adams and Williamstown.

Sabonis said that the F-15 fighter jets will train with the Civil Air Patrol, which will be flying a low-speed civilian propeller aircraft.

“This exercise is conducted to facilitate training for alert pilots on intercept procedures,” said Sabonis. “Ensuring the Massachusetts Air National Guard is prepared to defend the Northeast airspace against any airborne threat.”

During the exercise, communities may see an increase in aircraft activity.

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