Westover Air Reserve Base (IATA: CEF, ICAO: KCEF, FAA LID: CEF) is an Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) installation located in the Massachusetts communities of Chicopee and Ludlow, near the city of Springfield, Massachusetts. Westover hosts the largest Air Reserve Base in the world in terms of area. Until 2011, it was a backup landing site for the NASA Space Shuttle and in the past few years has expanded to include a growing civilian access airport sharing Westover’s military-maintained runways. The installation was named for Major General Oscar Westover who was commanding officer of the Army Air Corps in the 1930s. Westover was killed on 21 September 1938 in the crash of his high-speed Northrop A-17AS at Lockheed Aircraft’s air field in Burbank, California (now known as Bob Hope Airport). The host unit is the 439th Airlift Wing (439 AW) of the Twenty-Second Air Force (22 AF), Air Force Reserve Command. Outside of the AFRC command structure, the 439 AW and Westover are operationally gained by the Air Mobility Command (AMC).
WESTOVER ARB/METROPOLITAN AIRPORT HISTORY
Plans for Westover Field were made in 1939 as a result of the Nazi Germany invasion of Poland in 1939. Up to then, the country had only seventeen unimproved and ill-maintained air bases. The Army Air Corps began rapid expansion at the direction of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide an adequate air force for defense of the United States. The Mayor of Chicopee, Massachusetts, Anthony Stonina lobbied long and hard to a new military airfield in the Northeast, arguing convincingly for the town’s flat, open tobacco fields as a natural air field. Within two weeks of the Polish invasion, Chicopee was chosen for a new base.
WESTOVER ARB/METROPOLITAN AIRPORT LOCATION
Westover Air Reserve Base (IATA: CEF, ICAO: KCEF, FAA LID: CEF) is an Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) installation located in the Massachusetts communities of Chicopee and Ludlow, near the city of Springfield, Massachusetts.
WESTOVER ARB/METROPOLITAN AIRPORT FACTS
Elevation: 241 ft.
Runway length available: 05/23 11597×301 ft. :: 15/33 7082×150 ft.