Westover ARB helps local economy

News

Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee is home to a fleet of  C-5M Super Galaxies, the largest aircraft in the U.S. military.

But the base itself actually has a big impact on the local economy in western Massachusetts.

The 439th Airlift Wing is the host unit at Westover, but it also home to service members in the Army, Navy and Marine Corps.    

This weekend, the base will host the 2018 Great New England Air & Space Show, and in a two day span its guaranteed to generate millions of dollars.      

“This air show  gives us an opportunity to open the doors to the public, show them our mission what we do here,” said Westover Air Reserve Base spokesman, Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Biscoe. “They’ll get to see one of our C5s fly in addition to many other airplanes, gives us an opportunity to show the American tax payers what their military does.”

The base also has an effect on surrounding restaurants, hotels and stores. 

22News came to Bernie’s Dining Depot in Chicopee to find out if having the base so close by impacts business. 

“There’s a lot of families that live over on the base, a lot of the condos and stuff,” said co-owner Barbara Bernashe. “We do get business from people on these bases and the shops over there.. it does really good business.”

In 2017 the wing pumped more than $200 million into the base’s surrounding communities. That was an increase of more than $15 million from 2016. 

Westover is also the largest Air Force Reserve base in the country.

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