EAST GRANBY, Conn. – The 103rd Airlift Wing celebrated the opening of a new entry control point on the Bradley Air National Guard Base, here, with a ribbon cutting ceremony Aug. 20, 2020.

In 2013, the 103rd's mission transitioned from utilizing the small, twin turbofan C-21 airframe to the larger, C-130H Hercules aircraft. The completion of the seven year, $8.5 million gate project was the culmination of a complete base overhaul project to better support the 103rd's new mission.

"The new base entry complex will provide the Connecticut Air National Guard the ability to support its C-130 aircraft and our ever-expanding mission sets," said Army Maj. Gen. Francis Evon, adjutant general for the Connecticut National Guard. "Not only will the main gate project make the 103rd Airlift Wing more secure, but it will also become the highlight of the base and bring us on par with the Air Force vision."

The new gate provides additional levels of force protection and security measures which the original gate lacked, but also provides the base with a facelift that provides the public with more transparency into the identity of the Guardsmen serving in the community.

"No longer will our community wonder what those gray airplanes are at a distance," said Col. Stephen R. Gwinn, commander, 103rd Airlift Wing. "This front gate will serve to showcase to our community who we are, where we are, and what we do."

Completion of the project was due in large thanks to the vision of former Connecticut National Guard Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Thad Martin, Air Force Brig. Gen. Francis Detorie, local civil and community leaders, and congressional delegations representing the state of Connecticut.

The new gate, located on Route 20 in East Granby, will open Aug. 21, 2020 and serve as the primary entry control point for the base moving forward.