The 103rd Fighter Wing is located at the Bradley Air National Guard Base, located approximately 20 miles north of Hartford in northern Connecticut. The base is home to the 1000 personnel and equipment that make up the 103rd Fighter Wing. The nearby airfield is shared between Bradley International Airport and the 103rd Fighter Wing located at the Bradley Air National Guard Base. The New England Air Museum is located in Windsor.
More than 5,000 people descended on Bradley Air National Guard Base at East Granby during the 3rd annual Space and Aviation Day open house at Bradley International Airport 23 June 2001. The free public event took place at four airport venues-The Connecticut Air National Guard,Connecticut Fire Academy, New England Air Museam and the Federal Aviation Administration 's new air traffic control facility. A wide range of aircraft came to he base from all over the country,including a B-1 bomber from McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., C-5 transport (the largest aircraft type in the U.S. Air Force) from Stewart Air National Guard Base,N.Y., KC-10 tanker from McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., EA-6 prowler from Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, Wash., two F-16 fighters from Burlington International Airport, Vermont Air National Guard, KC-135 tanker from Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H., a CH-47 helicopter from the Connecticut Army National Guard, a T-38 jet trainer from Columbus Air Force Base, Miss. and a T-37 fighter trainer from Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.
Connecticut's Bradley International (BDL) in Windsor Locks is New England's second-largest airport (after Boston's Logan Airport).
In 1941 Public Act No. 1 authorized State Commissioner of Public Works to acquire 2,000 acres in Hartford County for lease to the federal government for the construction and maintenance of an amry air base for use as part of the nation's defense system. On Aug. 21, Lt. Eugene M. Bradley, 24, from Antler, Okla., died in a training exercise and became the first fatality at the new airbase. In 1942 the War Department formally named the airbase "Bradley Field," as a tribute to the flier's memory. Army gave the airbase to Connecticut in 1946.
Secretary of Defense Recommendations: In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Bradley International Airport Air Guard Station, CT. The A-10s assigned to the 103d Fighter Wing would be distributed to the 104th Fighter Wing, Barnes Municipal Airport Air Guard Station, MA (nine aircraft) and retirement (six aircraft). The wing's expeditionary combat support (ECS) elements would remain in place at Bradley and Bradley would retain capability to support a Homeland Defense mission. DoD also recommended to realign Barnes Air Guard Station, MA; Selfridge ANGB, MI; Shaw Air Force Base, SC; and Martin State Airport Air Guard Station, MD, by relocating base-level TF-34 engine intermediate maintenance to Bradley, establishing a Centralized Intermediate Repair Facility (CIRF) at Bradley for TF-34 engines.
In another recommendation, DoD recommended to construct an air sovereignty alert (ASA) facility at Bradley International Airport AGS. This recommendation was associated with a larger recommendation that would close Otis ANG Base, MA.
Secretary of Defense Justifications: Barnes (97) and Bradley (98) are located approximately 12 miles apart. The Air Force placed one full squadron at Barnes because it ranked higher in military value. By combining the two units into one squadron, the Air Force retains the trained A-10 pilots and maintenance technicians in the area and creates an optimum-sized and more effective squadron. The recommendation to close Otis ANGB, MA, generated a requirement to build an air sovereignty alert (ASA) site in the region. The Air Force priced an alert facility at both Barnes and Bradley, and chose Bradley on the basis of lower cost. The Bradley ECS elements remain in place to support the ASA mission.
Establishing a CIRF at Bradley for TF-34 engine maintenance compliments the realignment of the A-10 fleet. The CIRF at Bradley will consolidate TF-34 engine maintenance for ANG A-10 aircraft from Barnes, Selfridge, Martin State and activeduty aircraft at Spangdahlem, Germany.
Establishing this CIRF at Bradley rather than at Barnes avoids relocation of a hush house facility at an estimated cost of $3.5M, and avoids construction of additional 18,000 square feet of maintenance facilities already existing at Bradley that will be available.
Community Concerns: The East Granby, CT, community, including its elected representatives, challenged DoD's Mission Compatability Index (MCI) scores, claiming the Air Force's one-size-fits-all approach for both active and reserve bases creates a built-in bias favoring large active-duty bases. The community claimed Bradley is one of the Air National Guard's most efficient A-10 installations. It also claimed the Air Force significantly understated Bradley's military value, ignoring infrastructure available through an agreement with the local airport authority. Advocates noted the loss of experienced and skilled personnel would reduce combat capability and could jeopardize homeland security. Even though the ANG facility proposed to receive Bradley's A-10 aircraft is only 15 miles away, East Granby community leaders emphasized that Barnes' location in a different state would pose major employment challenges for those who wished to relocate to Westfield, MA.
Commission Findings: The Commission placed F-15s at Barnes Air Guard Station, located 12 miles to the north of Bradley. There is essentially no difference in MCI scores between Barnes and Bradley. No objections were found with any other part of this recommendation. This recommendation directing aircraft movement and personnel actions in connection with Air National Guard installations and organizations is designed to support the Future Total Force. The Commission expects that the Air Force will find new missions where needed, provide retraining opportunities, and take appropriate measures to limit possible adverse personnel impact. The Commission's intent is that the Air Force will act to assign sufficient aircrew and maintenance personnel to units gaining aircraft in accordance with current, established procedures. However, the Commission expects that all decisions with regard to manpower authorizations will be made in consultation with the governor of the state in which the affected Air National Guard unit is located. Any manpower changes must be made under existing authorities, and must be made consistent with existing limitations. Some reclassification of existing positions may be necessary, but should not be executed until the Air Force and the state have determined the future mission of the unit to preclude unnecessary personnel turbulence. This recommendation is consistent with the Commission's Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Laydown Plan.
Commission Recommendations: The Commission found that the Secretary of Defense deviated substantially from final selection criterion 1, as well as from the Force Structure Plan. Therefore, the Commission recommends the following:
Realign Bradley International Airport Air Guard Station, CT. Distribute the 15 A-10 aircraft assigned to the 103d Fighter Wing (ANG) at Bradley Field, Connecticut and the 15 A-10 aircraft at the 104th Fighter Wing (ANG), Barnes Air Guard Station, Massachusetts to meet the Primary Aircraft Authorizations (PAA) requirements established by the Base Closure and Realignment recommendations of the Secretary of Defense, as amended by the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission.
Establish 18 PAA F-15 aircraft at the 104th Fighter Wing (ANG), Barnes Air Guard Station, MA.
The 103d Fighter Wing (ANG) Expeditionary Combat Support (ECS) elements will remain in place at Bradley Field, Connecticut and Bradley will retain capability to support a homeland defense mission.
If the State of Connecticut decides to change the organization, composition and location of the 103d Fighter Wing to integrate the unit into the Future Total Force, all other personnel allotted to the 103d Fighter Wing will remain in place and assume a mission relevant to the security interests of the State of Connecticut and consistent with the integration of the unit into the Future Total Force, including but not limited to air mobility, C4ISR, Information Operations, engineering, flight training or unmanned aerial vehicles. Where appropriate, unit personnel will be retrained in skills relevant to the emerging mission.
This recommendation does not effect a change to the authorized end-strength of the Connecticut or the Massachusetts Air National Guard. The distribution of aircraft currently assigned to the 103d and 104th Fighter Wings (ANG) is based upon a resource-constrained determination by the Department of Defense that the aircraft concerned will better support national security requirements in other locations and is not conditioned upon the agreement of the state or the commonwealth.
Realign Barnes Air Guard Station, MA; Selfridge ANGB, MI; Shaw Air Force Base, SC; and Martin State Airport Air Guard Station, MD, by relocating base-level TF-34 engine intermediate maintenance to Bradley, establishing a Centralized Intermediate Repair Facility (CIRF) at Bradley for TF-34 engines.
The Commission found that this change and the recommendation as amended are consistent with the final selection criteria and the Force Structure Plan. The full text of this and all Commission recommendations can be found in Appendix Q.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|