Westover wins Innovation, Transformation Award

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  • 439th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Westover was recently recognized by the Fourth Air Force for innovative use of resources to enhance mission readiness in 2021.

Col. Joseph D. Janik, 439th Airlift Wing commander, announced the Patriot Wing was selected as recipient of the first ever Fourth Air Force Innovation Team Award on Feb. 10, 2022.

“The award demonstrates our commitment to readiness as we continue to develop and utilize the training area near our flightline,” said Janik. “By using existing resources – material, manpower and limited funding – Westover now has a realistic expeditionary exercise location that simulates multiple deployed environments. I am proud of how our Citizen Airmen and joint service partners have accelerated change by maximizing resources.”

The awards are given to any Fourth Air Force individual or team who played a firsthand role in an innovation or improvement initiative that resulted in measurable and positive outcomes.  Westover is one of 19 Reserve installations in Fourth Air Force.

“The innovative way we modernized our bivouac training district produced savings of over $300,000 in 2021 alone,” said Charles Carlin, 439th AW Plans and Exercises director.  “In addition our Civil Engineers, Marine Reserve tenants and Navy Seabees from across New England have received training by designing and constructing facilities, refurbishing the barracks, and improving the infrastructure of the camp.”

Westover’s ‘Dogpatch’ training area, which has been in existence for decades, received a complete revitalization.  In addition, a new tactical vehicle training route, nicknamed ‘Fury Road’, was opened in July 2021. 

Two exercise events in 2021 at the newly updated training area provided 13,000 hours of hands-on expeditionary skills training and evaluations for nearly 600 Citizen Airmen. The simulated deployment events amplified the Patriot Wing’s ability to support full spectrum operations in any environment.

The primary goal with the training district is to establish a turnkey readiness infrastructure for the 439th AW, Westover tenant organizations, and the dozens of military entities throughout the northeast. In the future, the facilities will be available to any Air Force Reserve Command unit in need of a flightline-adjacent expeditionary exercise area.

The mission of the 439th AW is to use its eight assigned C-5M Super Galaxy cargo aircraft to provide rapid global mobility as tasked by the Air Force Reserve Command and the Air Mobility Command.