An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | April 6, 2020

NJ Guard's 177th Fighter Wing still flying during pandemic

By Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Moseley 177th Fighter Wing

ATLANTIC CITY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.J. – The 177th Fighter Wing, New Jersey Air National Guard, continues defending the nation’s borders and preparing for combat deployment during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“While many organizations have the ability to temporarily stand down the mission or work remotely, the 177th doesn’t have that option,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Bradford R. Everman, commander of the 177th. “With both a federal and a state mission, a frontline homeland defense unit like the 177th must find ways to continue to operate, whether it is being ready to launch F-16s on a moment’s notice, deploy to an overseas location in the next year or provide more than 30 Airmen for New Jersey’s response to the coronavirus.”

The 177th Maintenance Group Airmen, the backbone of any aircraft operation, are keeping the unit’s aircraft ready to fly to maintain world-wide readiness to fight a war anytime, anywhere on the globe.

“The ability of the maintainers to continue generating aircraft while pilots fly combat readiness missions is what separates the 177th Fighter Wing Jersey Devils from any other organization in New Jersey,” Everman said. “When a crisis like the coronavirus hits, units like the 177th don’t have the luxury of taking a knee. It is absolutely critical that we continue operating to visibly maintain our go-to-war readiness.”

The maintainers are following established processes for hand-washing, social distancing and disinfecting common areas.

“To reduce the risk of spreading the virus, we switched from in-person meetings to virtual meetings, and maintainers are keeping to a minimum six-foot distancing to the greatest extent possible,” said Lt. Col. Joseph Leonard, commander of the 177th Maintenance Group.

Field teams continue to perform upgrades on the Wing’s F-16 fighter aircraft, even as the 177th FW has raised its health protection condition (HPCON) and has adopted additional screening measures for symptoms of the COVID-19 illness upon entry to the base and base-wide.

“As the cases of COVID-19 increase in New Jersey, the Airmen of the 177th Fighter Wing are stepping up to support the state response and sustain local operations,” said Everman. “Under HPCON Charlie, the Wing will continue with essential missions while taking all necessary actions to maintain force health protection.”

New Jersey Army and Air National Guard members are part of the almost 22,000 National Guard members who are supporting COVID-19 response efforts across the nation at the direction of their governors.

“We have taken an oath to protect and defend our state and nation and we will do just that,” said Chief Master Sgt. James McCloskey, the 177 FW command chief. “This is our 'go-time.' The country and state are depending on us. I am certain we will meet the challenge and win.”

 

 

Related Articles
First Sgt. Akakios Pelekanos, right, and 1st Lt. Andreas Pavlou, explosive ordnance disposal team technicians with the 70th Combat Engineer Battalion of the National Guard of the Republic of Cyprus, prepare small explosive charges for detonation June 11, 2024, at the Warren Grove Gunnery Range, Warren Grove, New Jersey. The Cypriot guardsmen and the 177th Civil Engineers Squadron EOD team detonated the explosives during a training event that simulated clearing a runway of explosives dropped by enemy forces.
New Jersey Guard’s 177th Fighter Wing Hosts Partner Cyprus
By Staff Sgt. Hunter Hires, Andrew Moseley and Airman 1st Class Connor Taggart, | June 21, 2024
ATLANTIC CITY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, N.J. - Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team technicians with the 70th Combat Engineer Battalion of the National Guard of the Republic of Cyprus visited the 177th Fighter Wing as part of the...

U.S. Army Officer Candidate Brian Luckenbill, New Jersey OCS Class 67, 254th Training Regiment, conducts water crossing familiarization training with Albanian Armed Forces Cadets in Rreth-Greth, Albania, May 16, 2024. New Jersey and New York National Guard Soldiers traveled to Albania to train with cadets from the Albanian Military Academy.
National Guard Officer Candidates Train with Albanian Partners
By Capt. Kenneth Meisner, | May 21, 2024
RRETH-GRETH, Albania – Imagine traveling thousands of miles to a foreign country to put your leadership skills to the test. This month, the New Jersey and New York National Guard Officer Candidate School (OCS) Cadets did just...

Medical staff process a patient sample at a COVID-19 testing site at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, N.J., March 23, 2020. Airmen from the New Jersey Air National Guard’s 108th Wing and 177th Fighter Wing are providing security and traffic control at the site. This photo has been edited to remove personal information.
New Jersey Air National Guard supports COVID-19 test site
By Master Sgt. Matt Hecht | April 6, 2020
HOLMDEL, N.J. – Forty Airmen from the New Jersey Air National Guard’s 108th Wing and 177th Fighter Wing answered the call for volunteers to be part of the state’s COVID-19 response force.The Airmen are from a variety of Air...