Galaxy Council Facebook Page Great New England Airshow Webpage

GCC Newsletter for December, 2017


Compiled by Bud Shuback

At this time of year, we reflect on all that we have and all that we have achieved. It’s a time to give thanks, to share and to spread cheer. GCC members are fortunate to have such a great partnership with the military men and women who are stationed at Westover ARB. To fulfill our mission of supporting them, the GCC is spreading cheer through contributions of time and financial considerations. The dedicated professionals at Westover make sacrifices for all of us, so keep them in your thoughts and do what you can for all of our military men and women, and their families, during the holiday season and throughout the year.



The GCC Officers, Board of Directors wish you and your families a very happy holiday season and look forward to a healthy, happy and prosperous new year!


WESTOVER NOTES: Westover Air Reserve Base Is the Air Force Reserve Command’s Premier Wing providing innovative airmen and leading edge capabilities to support the Total Force.


4th AF Commander: Maj. Gen. Randall Ogden (March AFB, CA)

439th AW Leadership

Commander: Col. Scott Durham

Vice Commander: Col. Howard Clark

Mission Support Group Commander: Col Karen “Jack” Magnus

Maintenance Group Commander: Col David Post (Newly appointed; Last stationed at Youngstown Air Station) Operations Group Commander (acting): Lt Col Craig Tommila



WARB economic impact: As you know, Westover ARB has a HUGE economic impact on our region. Westover Public Affairs has provided the Fiscal Year 2016 economic impact information.  of the GCC mission is to inform our neighbors about what Westover means to all of us.  Please spread the word! Not only is Westover key element in the defense of our country, it also provides a major fiscal stimulus to our area.


Westover economic impact increases more than $15 million from fiscal 2016

by Senior Master Sgt. Andrew Biscoe, 439th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


WESTOVER AIR RESERVE BASE, Mass. — The 439th Airlift Wing added $212 million into the community in fiscal year 2017 — an increase of more than $15 million from the previous fiscal year.


The wing impacted communities within a 50-mile radius with an economic impact of $212,534,218 from

Oct. 1, 2016 to Sept. 30, 2017.  In 2016, the base’s economic impact was $197,257,006. Previous years’ economic impact were:


2015 – $221,175,721

2014 – $220,856,889

2013 – $224,946,752

2012 – $237,936,751

2011 – $237,568,913


Other highlights from the economic impact report:


— Construction and related expenditures increased $12 million, due to facility project funding, according to Deborah Heady, Westover budget analyst.

— The base saw a decrease of $1.6 million in payroll last year, due in part to a decrease in Air Force

civilian employees working at the base, Heady said. Fewer military members were deployed in fiscal

2017 and the Air Force reduced some civilian manning numbers.

— There was a $500,000 decrease in the estimated value of jobs created in fiscal 2017 primarily as a result of a decrease in civilian, military and non-appropriated fund salaries.

— The total number of base employees – active duty, reserve, and civilians – decreased from 3,371 in 2016 to 3,284 in 2017.


“The $15 million increase speaks to Westover’s continued economic influence in the Pioneer Valley,” said Col. D. Scott Durham, 439th Airlift Wing commander. “Though military budgets have decreased in recent years, our base continues its relevance as a key strategic partner within the Department of Defense. Closer to home, this installation is a stable employer and economic engine in western Massachusetts.”


The economic figures and personnel counts do not include the base’s 28 tenant units, which include ten Army units, three Marine units, and a Military Entrance Processing Station, which together employ about 1,700 people, mainly reservists.


WESTOVER CLUB: The Club is cash only until further notice. Charge cards will not be accepted.




Hello everyone and welcome to winter!    A lot has been going on and at the same time, Air Show planning is in a stand-still.    We had a last minute request from Col. Durham to help secure a Christmas Tree for Westover.  We opted for an artificial tree this year and members Bill Hick and Rich Marion made it all happen in just a few days’ time – ask them to see the pictures!  There was a beautiful tree lighting ceremony and Christmas carols sung on December2. If you have a chance to stop by the base one evening, the tree is near the James Street gate. At 17-feet, you can’t miss it!   Al, Bob and I attended the ICAS convention last week, along with 9 members of the Westover team.  It was a wonderful showing with lots of conversation about best practices and working togethe  I expect within the next month, we will have solid plans in place and be ready to present updates to all of you at the January meeting.     Bud and his elves helped out taking pictures of kids with Santa at the Westover Kids Holiday party.  Your membership helped us contribute heavily to the trees and many arts & crafts projects.   Let’s talk membership – we’ve had about 60% of our current membership renew at this time.  I know it’s been a hassle with new security form and 365-day rule.  But I cannot stress enough how important your membership is in 2018.  We have a huge Air Show coming up – so not only your membership; but your involvement is important.  With military cut- back and one Continuing Resolution after another, more is being asked of us every week and we would love to say yes to everything!  Helping military families and the Westover community is why we are all involved.   Putting a spectacular Air Show is just another part of that, as Westover opens the doors and brings in the community to see what they do.    Please submit your membership dues and the new security form as soon as possible.  Come January our Air Show POCs will start putting their teams together.  We will be alloting meeting time each month for teams to work on their areas.  July will be here before you know it. Thank you to Kathy Wood and her Charter-review committee.  I expect to have charter revisions for the membership to review in a couple months.  We also have four new board members coming in January, as well as a new Membership Committee chairperson.    Lots of fun times ahead and we plan the future of the Galaxy Community Council.                                  

Thank you all and Happy Holidays.






Time is running out to renew you GCC membership.  Our IDs are now valid for one year from date of renewal.  Currently your ID is valid until December 31. 2017.  When you renew, your ID will be valid for 365 days from the date you renew.


We also have a new security form.   Please complete the form using the computer or print neatly.   Do not sign or date the security form until the day you go in for your ID.


If you haven’t done so already, fill out the new security form (found on our website).   Bring the form and your dues to our next meeting or mail them to Galaxy Community Council, 570 Patriot Ave, Box 10, Westover ARB, MA 01022. Our membership team will let you know when you have been cleared.  You then have 30 days to go in and get your ID.             You can also bring forms and dues to our December 13th Holiday meeting.  Contact Dave Carbin if you have questions ( or 413 244 3116).


Reminder: Dues are $75.  Spouse membership is $25.


2018 is an Air Show year!  We need you!  We need everyone!!!




  • Al & Candace Lefleur, Dale Johnston, Marie Laflamme, Jim & Gert Jensen, John Harrington, Gray & Connie Brown, Dave Carbin, Earl Bonett and Bud Shuback attended the annual USO Veterans Day breakfast at the Log Cabin in Holyoke. Kudos to Westover’s Lt Col Jordan Murphy of the Maintenance Group who was one of the speakers. He gave an excellent talk about the meaning of Veterans Day.


  • Marie Laflamme, John Harrington & Bud Shuback helped out at the December 2nd: Westover children’s Christmas party, providing photographs with Sand and Mrs Claus for over 80 of the families who attended.


  • Rich Marion and Bill & Donna Hick were instrumental in securing, transporting and decorating a 17 foot Christmas tree that  Paul Bunyan’s Tree Farm on Fuller Road in Chicopee provided at half price to Galaxy Council that was paid for with money that was not used for the Oktoberfest event. We also paid for the tree lights.   Col. Durham expressed his appreciation and extended an invitation to all Galaxy Council Members  to Westover on Saturday, December 2 at 4:30pm for a Christmas Tree Lighting.  The tree is located just inside the James Street gate on your way towards the ellipse.


  • Connie Brown, Al Chwalek and Bob Houldson attended the International Council of Air Shows annual convention in Las Vegas. They and 439th Air Wing key personnel represented Westover to secure performers, to keep up with industry trends and to assure compliance with Air Force regulations.


  • Neil Noble will, once again, be our POC for “Wreaths Across America” info on December 16th at the Agawam Veterans Cemetery..


2018 GREAT NEW ENGLAND AIR SHOW UPDATE: Al Chwalek has announced the

following Galaxy Council’s line-up of air and static acts:


Flying              Shock Wave Jet Truck                                    Geico Skytypers

Ace Maker T-33                                              B-17

Rob Holland                                                    P-51

Mike Goulian

CAF Dixie Wing:  F4U Corsair,  Curtis Helldiver,  Dauntless ABD,  Kate (Nakajima B5N), Douglas Skyraider

Static               B-25      C-47       AC-47 Gunship        AT-28D          TBM Avenger


Please don’t forget if you know someone planning to join the Galaxy Council to work on this year’s air show, it is mandatory they be a member a minimum of 4-months prior to the show – which would be March 14th.  However, the sooner the better.  Planning is happening now and we need all the help we can get!   Our ICAS team will be headed to the convention December 2-6th to finalize agreements, finish booking acts and to learn, learn, learn.


The Great New England Air Show is a major responsibility of the Galaxy Community Council. Your commitment to the GCC and the Air Show is essential. Its success benefits Westover and our communities. Our top priority therefore, is involving all GCC members. Your help and input is essential to our mission.  Discuss your commitment to working at the air show with a member of the Board of Directors.

2017 AIR SHOW FUNDRAISER RAFFLE DRAWING December 13th: Raffle tickets

are still available from Bill Hick for the December 13th drawing to help reach our goal of $4,000 in sales. Contact Bill Hick, or Rich Marion, for tickets.


GCC CONTRIBUTES TO WESTOVER ENTITIES AND ACTIVITIES                                                           Thanks to all

GCC members who are working to fulfill our mission of supporting the men and women at Westover. Our 2017 contributions include:

o USO                                       $2,400    Including a Monday night dinner

o Young Marines                           500 o Civil Air Patrol                             500 o Youth Outreach Day                   200

o Airmen & Family Readiness       950     Including the WARB Children’s Christmas party

o Westover Club event (14 Oct) 2,500     Budgeted for Family Day alternative event




  • December 13th: Westover A/S meeting at 2:30pm in the Wing Conference Center.


  • December 13th: GCC Christmas dinner meeting at the Knights of Columbus, 460 Granby Rd, Chicopee.

Arrival at 5:15 and dinner at 6:15.


  • WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA December 16th: If anyone would like to contribute to Wreaths Across America, go to  You can choose Arlington National Cemetery or a local cemetery easily by clicking on the website link.   They also need help laying wreaths, which will take place at 10:00am on December 16th.  Just show up at the Agawam Veterans Cemetery by 9AM.



  • December 13th GCC Christmas Dinner at the Knights of Columbus, 460 Granby Rd, Chicopee


  • 2018 Meeting Schedule: January 17

February – no meeting

March 21

April 18

May 16

June 20

July 11  (Wednesday prior to the air show for final details and pass and shirt hand-outs.) August 15

September 19

October 17

November   14    (2nd   Wednesday   due   to


December 12 (tentative Holiday dinner date)





  • IMPORTANT! HAVE YOUR GCC NAME-TAG WHEN CHECKING INTO DINNER We are transitioning to a new electronic check-in system, so a bar code will be attached to your name-tag. If you do not have a name-tag email or call Bud Shuback.


  • NEW: Sign-in cut-off for dinner at GCC meetings has been changed to 6:00 PM.

Sign-in for dinners is from 5:00 to 6:00 PM. Meal tickets will not be available before and after these times.




  • Please remember that our GCC members who handle dinner check-in are volunteering their time to do this important job. Please be patient with them during check-in.


o  Always have your Westover ID card with you at dinner check-in and on you while on Westover ARB

o  When paying for dinner, please have currency denominations of $20 bills or smaller.  PLEASE DO NOT pay with $100 or $50 bills.





When you shop at, you’ll find the same low prices, selection and shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the Galaxy Community Council’s efforts. This is an easy way for Amazon shoppers to provide financial support to

the GCC  AT NO COST TO YOU. To participate, simply go to from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You use your same Amazon account on Amazon Smile and refer to the GCC.


NEW MEMBER APPLICATION PROCEDURE: As always, we encourage members to find interested individuals to join our organization. If you would like to invite someone to join us at one of our meetings to see what we do, contact Bud Shuback to arrange base access.

Because we meet on a Federal Military installation, our security procedures require that the following steps be taken to become a member of the GCC:

  • The applicant must be sponsored by a current GCC member who knows them.
  • Fill out a membership application and submit it along with an annual dues check for $75. If the applicant is a spouse of a current GCC member, submit the application with an annual dues check of $25.00.


  • After submitting the application to GCC Membership Director, Gail Sherman, it will be reviewed at the next GCC Board of Directors meeting and the Board will vote on acceptance.
  • On acceptance by the Board, the applicant must fill out a Westover Background check form (SF-1) that is submitted to Base Security. To expedite the membership application process, this form may be submitted with the membership application.
  • After the background check is completed, the applicant will be notified that he or she has been accepted as a GCC member. They can then to go to Westover Pass & ID to obtain a Westover ID card. The applicant will also be invited to the next general membership meeting where he or she will be presented with a New Member Package.
  • For more information, contact Dave Carbin at or 413 244 3116.



GCC MERCHANDISE: Contact Rick Hirt,  for more information about, or to purchase GCC merchandise.



If you have questions regarding meeting dates, upcoming events, our newsletter or other information, please go to It is updated regularly and contains a lot of information.  CHECK IT OUT!






Important information for Galaxy Council Members while at Westover

  • Westover Base Security may make occasional random checks of vehicles that enter WARB.
  • Driving on Westover (driving privileges can be suspended for non-compliance):

o  Always use seat belts.

o  No cell phone use while driving

o  Max speed limit on base is 30 MPH.

o  When leaving via the Westover Road gate, the speed limit is 15 MPH until Westover Road.

  • GCC members can use the following on-base facilities: Westover Club, Subway, Bowling Alley and OUTDOOR REC: Fishing equipment, campers, lawn care equipment, party supplies and so much more! Visit for a full price list and call 557-2192 to reserve.


GCC Charter: To read the GCC charter and operating policies, please go to


PIONEER VALLEY USO wants your help ( ) The GCC helps the USO to support the military men and women stationed at Westover. If you would like to help with any of their events, contact Al Tracy at 413-557-3290.


They also accept contributions of non-perishable foods, furniture, household goods, books, magazines, DVDs, baby supplies and more.



E pluribus unum

Latin for “Out of many, one” (alternatively translated as “One out of many” or “One from many” — is a 13-letter traditional motto of the  United States of America, appearing on the  Great Seal and adopted by an Act of Congress in 1782. Never codified by law, E Pluribus Unum was considered a de facto motto of the United States until 1956 when the  United States Congress passed an  act adopting “In God We Trust” as the  official motto.


The Galaxy Community Council is a 501c3 all-volunteer charitable corporation that supports the men, women and mission of Westover Air Reserve Base.  It is not a part of the Department of Defense or any of its components and it has no governmental status.

View Events


January 10, 2018
January 17, 2018
  • GCC Board Meeting
    Wing HQ Conference Room
    See more details

  • GCC General Meeting
    Westover Consolidated Club, 6640 Anderson Road, Chicopee, MA 01022, USA
    See more details

February 14, 2018

View Full Calendar

Find us on Facebook!