WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield is being called a top tier unit following a recent inspection.
According to a press release sent to 22News from Barnes Public Affairs, the fighter wing achieved an overall “Mission Ready” rating, which is the highest rating for 24/7 alert units in the U.S. Air Force and National Guard. The inspection was performed by the North American Aerospace Defense Command Inspector General.
The Aerospace Control Alert mission at Barnes was evaluated during the inspection and received the highest ratings possible on all four graded areas: Command and Control, Mission Employment, Alert Aircraft, and Security Forces.
“The NORAD IG Team was very impressed with our mission, and mentioned to me that he considered us a top tier unit,” said Col. James Keefe, wing commander.
Part of the fighter wing’s homeland mission is to provide armed F-15 Eagle jets ready to scramble in a moment’s notice to protect the Northeast from any airborne threat. The wing is responsible for protecting a quarter of the nation’s population.