The fighter jets that once flew out of Otis Air National Guard Base will return to the Cape this summer.
Beginning in July, the base, once home to the F-15 Eagle fighter jets and their pilots, will be host to the 104th Fighter Wing currently based at Barnes Air National Guard Base in western Massachusetts.
Extensive repairs on the runways at Barnes will begin in July and continue into the fall--at least 4 to 6 months, according to a release from the US Air Force. "An alternate location was needed to perform their flying mission and we certainly have some experience flying jets," said Col. Patrick Cobb, 102d Intelligence Wing Commander.
The 104th Fighter Wing is responsible for protecting a quarter of the population of the United States, according to the USAF release. As part of the Aerospace Control Alert (ACA), fighter pilots with the 104th are prepared to scramble "at a moment's notice".
The F-15s were once based at Otis, but Department of Defense cuts in 2005 sent them to Barnes Air National Guard Base. Fighter pilots with the 102d Fighter Interceptor Wing were the first to scramble after the attack on the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11, 2001.