Thunderbirds fly into Barnes to prep for airshow
Date: 2/23/2010Feb. 24, 2010.
By Katelyn Gendron
Reminder Assistant Editor
WESTFIELD -- Personnel at Barnes Air National Guard Base are gearing up for several hundred thousand people to descend on their locale for this summer's International Air Show.
Last week, two members of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds stopped at Barnes to showcase their craft and get a feel for the base. The Thunderbirds are part of an international tour, which performs solo runs and aerobatic formations in jet aircrafts.
"The Westfield International Air Show is a great example of how the Massachusetts National Guard gives back to the community," Maj. Gen. Joseph Carter, adjutant general of the Massachusetts National Guard, said. "We anticipate more than 200,000 spectators from across the Commonwealth to enjoy this free event."
The two-day show, taking place Aug. 21 and 22, will feature the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the US. Army Golden Knights, the U.S. Navy F-18 Demonstration Team as well as civilian crafts. The event will include a jet-powered school bus, Geico Skytypers, Greg Poe and the Fagen MX-2s, a B-25 sponsored by the Disabled American Veterans, vintage war-birds and pyrotechnics.
"We want to showcase this base and its people to the community," Col. Robert Brooks, commander of the 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes, said. "This family-friendly event will be enjoyed by all spectators, young and old."
Maj. Matthew Mutti, executive staff officer for the 104th, noted the show will not only open up the base to the greater Westfield community but will also bring millions of dollars in revenue to the area. He said last week's visit by the Thunderbirds was necessary in order to continue plans for the show.
"We are well on our way to hosting an awesome air show!" he said.
For more information about the Westfield International Air Show, visit www.westfieldairshow.net