WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – In preparation for the 2023 Westfield International Air Show, taking place on May 13th and 14th, a major accident response exercise was held Wednesday at Westfield-Barnes Regional Airport.

The Major Accident Response Exercise, or “MARE” saw a number of military, state and municipal agencies coming together for safety training. It included table-top presentations which outlined plans in the event of an emergency at the show. There were four major safety modules discussed.

Air Show Boss David White described the types of emergencies that they train for. “Well the obvious one is an aircraft incident, anything from a blown tire on landing to a blown tire on take-off to a more serious incident,” said White. “But we stay away from serious incidents, that’s one of the reasons we do exercises like this, and do so much work. It’s all about maintaining safety.”

The remaining modules went over extreme weather, active shooter and food-borne illness protocols.

This year’s show will be the first at Barnes Air National Guard Base since 2017. A show had been scheduled in 2021, but was canceled due to covid-19.

Maj. Stephen ‘Steagle’ Mindek told 22News about the performers that are expected to “wow” the crowd. “Headlining the show, we have an F-35, the air-force demo team that’s coming, right now we have the United States Navy providing the super hornet demo as well. We’ve got the golden knights which is going to be the army parachute performance team that’s going to be performing at the show as well with a bunch of various other show performers to include.”

With 21 F-15C Eagle aircrafts, the 104th Fighter Wing is on call 24/7 to provide protection and emergency response to the U.S and Massachusetts, and also internationally when needed.

While there is a fee for parking passes, general admission to the air show is free. Information on pricing & schedule of events can be found here.