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    104th Fighter Wing dedicates Logistics Complex in honor of Maj. Gen. George W. Keefe

    104th Fighter Wing dedicates Logistics Complex

    Photo By Airman 1st Class Sara Kolinski | Retired Brig. Gen. James 'Cobra' Keefe speaks during a dedication ceremony honoring...... read more read more

    WESTFIELD , MA, UNITED STATES

    11.13.2019

    Story by Senior Master Sgt. Julie Avey  

    104th Fighter Wing/Public Affairs

    Barnes Air National Guard Base has aircraft displays of the unit’s aircraft history and continues to tell the story of those who have gone before us in the Air Force. Now there is a building dedicated to keeping memories alive for a true friend of Barnes Air National Guard Base.

    U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. George W. Keefe’s name was displayed prominently on the 104th Fighter Wing Logistics Complex during a ceremony, November 8, 2019. Family, friends, Barnstormers past and present gathered around in the chill of fall air to witness the dedication. Family members then unveiled on display at the unit, several memorabilia, including photographs and uniforms of the late Maj. Gen. George W. Keefe.

    Major General George W. Keefe was the first Air National Guardsman to serve as Adjutant General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He dedicated his life to the service of the Commonwealth and Country for 49 years.

    “The people here loved him, and they loved him because he was the kind of leader that led from the front. He cared about his people, and he cared about the mission, and he always made you feel valued,” said Col. Peter T. Green III, 104th Fighter Wing commander.

    Major General George W. Keefe enlisted in the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 104th Tactical Fighter Group in 1956 as a Crash Fire Rescue Specialist attaining the rank of Master Sergeant before he commissioned as an Officer and First Lieutenant. He served as a Squadron and Group Commander for the Logistics Readiness Squadron for almost 20 years before being appointed Vice Commander. In January of 2000, he was selected to serve at the Massachusetts National Guard Joint Force Headquarters as The Adjutant General.

    “Throughout his career at the 104th, my dad had the innate ability to relate to the most junior enlisted member and the most senior General. He was a people person and believed that if you took care of your people and let them do their job, the mission would be a success,” said Brig. Gen. James “Cobra” Keefe (ret), son of late Maj. Gen. Keefe.

    Major General Keefe’s hard work and determination earned him enshrinement in the U.S. Air Forces Enlisted Heritage Hall at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, as one of the few General Officers who rose from the ranks of enlisted Airman to 2 Star General Officer.

    “We were kids, every Memorial Day he’d bring us out here, and we’d look at the planes, and he’d talk to us about the role the military plays,” said Maj. Gen. Gary W. Keefe, Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard. “This has always been a huge part of the Keefe family growing up.”

    Before he passed away in June 2018, General Keefe reflected on his military career. When asked what he found most rewarding about his time in the Air National Guard, Keefe said: “I had the chance to meet and serve with the best men and women in the world, and my job was to take care of my soldiers, airmen, and their families. That was my passion, and I hope I made a difference for them.” General Keefe left a lasting impact on the 104th fighter wing, and his steadfast, compassionate leadership has been instrumental to our success.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 11.13.2019
    Date Posted: 11.13.2019 17:13
    Story ID: 351624
    Location: WESTFIELD , MA, US 

    Web Views: 105
    Downloads: 1
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    PUBLIC DOMAIN