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    HomeWorldAir Show Returns With F-35 to Barnes Air National Guard Base

    Air Show Returns With F-35 to Barnes Air National Guard Base

    Air Show Returns With F-35 to Barnes Air National Guard Base

    The F-35 stole the show.

    “That's why I'm here,” said Leslie , of Chicopee, while photographing the country's newest fighter jet at the Westfield International Show on Sunday.

    Last month, the Pentagon announced the Air National Guard's 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes will get 18 of the F-35A Lightning fighter jets starting in late 2025 or early 2026 to replace the aging F-15 Eagles flown here since 2007. Officials celebrated the decision, saying it guarantees the future of the Westfield base for 40 years.

    “They are awesome, the best fighter in the world. I was thrilled to hear it was coming here,” said Jordan, a U.S. Navy veteran who lives near Westover Air Reserve Base so he expects to see the jets flying over his house on occasion.

    While the show – the first of its kind since 2017 – did not feature some of the high-profile acts of the past it had plenty to make crowds happy, including the 104th's own F-15 demonstration team and the F-35 Demonstration Team from the 388th Fighter Wing, Hill Air Base. The finale showed the F-35 flying with a World War II-era P-51 Mustang, which was the state-of-the-art fighter at the time, said Maj. Anthony Mutti, an inspector general for the 104th.

    “We have had a lot of positive feedback on social media,” he said.

    As a F-35 roared through the sky, Mutti wanted to put some concerns at ease explaining what people heard at the air show is…

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