Westover Air Force Reserve Base

Symbol for the 439th Airlift Wing
Twitter: @439Westover

Two men were killed late Tuesday night when a car crashed through the perimeter fence of the Westover Air Force Reserve Base in Chicopee, Massachusetts, struck a cement barrier and caught on fire.


Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito and several of Baker’s cabinet secretaries were in western Massachusetts Friday for a series of tours, meetings and grant announcements in each of the four western counties. 

Baker’s schedule of appearances highlighted his administration’s campaign to combat the opioid epidemic, underscore the importance of military bases to the state’s economy, and showcase an innovative public school.  He also addressed local concerns about the future of the state-owned nursing home for military veterans in Holyoke.


A military air base in western Massachusetts is in the running to become home to the next generation of Air Force refueling tanker planes. Along with the new aircraft would come new jobs.

Westover Air Force Reserve Base in Chicopee is one of four bases under consideration by the Pentagon to become home to the KC-46A, which is designed to provide aerial refueling to U.S. military and allied aircraft. The first of the new planes, which are being built by Boeing, is scheduled for delivery in 2019.


Massachusetts will not be needed to shelter immigrant children who have come unaccompanied across the nation’s southern border.  An announcement by federal officials late Tuesday ended a two-week controversy that embroiled Massachusetts in the national debate over immigration reform.


Emotions remain high over Gov. Deval Patrick’s offer to temporarily house unaccompanied immigrant children in Massachusetts.  No final decision has been made about where the children would stay, if federal authorities accept the offer.

Gov. Patrick said comments to his office are running as high as three-to-one in favor of his offer to shelter some of the tens of thousands of unaccompanied children who have streamed across the country’s southern border this year. Patrick said he had received no new information from the federal government since he made the offer on July 18th.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Responding to a federal request Friday morning, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has offered Camp Edwards on Cape Cod and Westover Air Reserve Base in Chicopee as two locations to house up to 1,000 immigrant children.


The Air Force is downsizing a base in western Massachusetts.  The Westover Air Force Reserve Base in Chicopee is going to lose both aircraft and jobs.

The Air Force is going to transfer half of the fleet of 16 C-5 cargo planes now assigned to Westover to a base in Texas and eliminate 334 jobs.  The changes are the result of deep budget cuts at the Pentagon.  Brig. Gen. Steven Vautrain, the commander of the 439th airlift wing at Westover, said people on the base were saddened, but not terribly surprised by Monday’s announcement.

US Air Force

Air Force officials say half of the 16 giant C-5 cargo planes based currently at the Westover Air Force Reserve base in Chicopee will be transferred to a base in Texas resulting in the loss of 300 jobs. The cuts were announced in a press release this morning. Brig General Steven Vautrain, who is the commander of the 439th Airlift Wing at Westover, is scheduled to hold a news conference shortly on the base.


A long shot bid by the city of Chicopee to get into the casino competition in Massachusetts has failed. But, the city’s mayor says Chicopee does not need casino money to survive

Two developers that had looked into the possibility of a casino project in Chicopee informed Massachusetts gaming industry regulators Tuesday they will compete instead for a license to operate a slots parlor.  Chicopee Mayor Michael Bissonnette had spoken with officials from both Rush Street Gaming and the Cordish Companies about converting a former mill in Chicopee Center into a casino.

Two boys watch a jet soar by during an air show
U.S. Air Force

What organizers say will be one of the largest air shows in the country will be held later this summer in western Massachusetts.  The  “ Great  New England Air Show”  is being staged at the Westover Air Force Reserve Base at a time when the facility’s future is clouded by proposed Pentagon budget cuts.  WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports