WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - You may have heard more fighter jets than usual Thursday.
The Air National Guard's 104th fighter wing is flying practice missions from Westfield.
The F-15 fighter jet practice is aimed at ensuring the unit's readiness to defend airspace here in the Northeast.
Fighter pilot Major Sean Halbrook told 22News they work to perfect their ability to get the jets off the ground and into action within minutes.
Halbrook said, "Bottom line when you hear the noise, we're actually protecting you guys from any airborne threat, so that's why we do it twice a month to make sure all of the FAA is on board with it, the air defense sectors as well as the fighter wing…making sure we are sharp with this type of mission."
These practice missions have pilots flying as far north as Maine at speeds hundreds of miles per hour.