104th Fighter Wing [104th FW]
Located at Barnes ANGB, the 104th Fighter Wing, an operational flying unit assigned to the Air Combat Command, claims the honor of being one of the oldest flying units within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its heritage extends back to August of 1942 when the 333FS was activated under the U.S. Army Air Force. On April 10, 1946 the first meeting of the 131st Fighter Squadron was held and six months later Barnes Airport, now known as Barnes Municipal Airport, was selected as the home of this unit. Today its pilots fly A/OA-10 Warthogs from the modern runways at the Barnes Air National Guard Base as well as employ 800 traditional guardsmen and 200 AGR/Military Technicians. These 1000 guardsmen account for an annual 19.1 million dollar payroll. Its mission is to maintain highly trained, well-equipped, and motivated military forces in order to provide combat-ready A/OA-10 aircraft and support elements in response to wartime and peacetime tasking under state or federal authority.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to realign Bradley International Airport Air Guard Station by distibuting the 103rd's A-10s 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. By combining the two units into one squadron the Air Force would retain the trained A-10 pilots and maintenance technicians in the area and create an optimum-sized and more effective squadron.
In another recommendation, DoD recommended to close Otis ANGB, MA. The 253d Combat Communications Group, and 267th Communications Squadron would remain in place at Otis, with 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes providing administrative support as the parent wing.
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