WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The 104th Fighter Wing division of the Air Force is always ready to serve.
They’re based at Barnes Air National Guard base in Westfield. They can get called to duty by the president at any time.
The 104th Fighter Wing division has an alert mission of two pilots and four jets ready for action 24/7. Major Avery, known to the unit as “Shotgun” served active duty for 19 years.
“It’s the ability to serve my country in a really fun way,” Andrew “Shotgun” Avery, Major Chief of Safety Fighter Pilot told 22News. “That’s the bottom line. You try to describe how it is up there, but you don’t really know until you get up there.”
The 104th Fighter Wing is one of the most decorated units in the country. They’ve won multiple awards including the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award eight times and the prestigious Kenneth Disney award, twice.
“What makes the 104th fighter wing well performing is the people, it kind of comes back to our overall vision is to be the most respected fighter wing in the combat air force,” Colonel Pete Green, Vice Commander of 104th Fighter Wing said.
Though the unit is part of the Massachusetts National Guard, they protect the northeastern airspace, including the president in Washington, D.C.
Colonel Green is the Vice Commander on base. He told 22News the 104th Fighter Wing’s primary missions right now is putting on the best air show they can this weekend.