WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - 22News didn't have to wait long to ask the new commander of the 104th fighter wing, how the budget cuts might effect his mission at Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield.
Northampton native Colonel James Keefe went from second in command to commanding officers during Saturday afternoon's ceremony at the main base hangar. .
Brigadier General Robert Brooks has been in charge of the 104th for nearly five years. Barnes is home to the F-15 first line of defense Jet fighters
The new wing commander told 22News, he can't allow sequestration to make his team lose focus.
"We don't want to have our members worry about pay, etc, etc, when they're supposed to take care of aircraft or supposed to take care of the mission as far as leadership goes we just have to make sure the focus is where the mission is," Col. James Keefe said.
Before becoming Wing commander at Barnes air National Guard base, Colonel Keefe piloted the A-10 attack aircraft stationed in Westfield for many years.