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Minnesota National Guard
148th Members Test F-16 Live Fire Capabilities

Credit: MN Air National Guard
Members of the 148th Fighter Wing, board a C-17 bound for Tyndall Air Force Base, FL from Duluth Minn to participate in training exercise Combat Archer January 22, 2010 Combat Archer will be the first operational test of the new Block 50 F-16 Falcons
(US Air Force photo by Staff Sgt Donald Acton/released)

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - More than 100 members of the 148th Fighter Wing deployed to Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida early Saturday morning
Over the next two weeks, the troops will test their newly acquired Block 50 F-16 Fighting Falcons

"The deployment is a great training opportunity," said Chief Master Sgt Marcia Dumancas, 148th Operations Airfield Manager "We'll be working with maintenance and with our counterparts at Tyndall as well"

The deployed members will participate in air-to-air Weapons System Evaulation Program known as Combat Archer The tests give pilots a chance to live-fire their weapons

"It will be a great opportunity to test the Airmen and the aircraft," said 1st Lt Grant Brown, a pilot with the 148th Fighter Wing "We will be certifying the aircraft--making sure systems work correctly"

This is the unit’s first deployment since the conversion to Block 50 F-16s The goal is to prepare the pilots for the conditions they would face if deployed to a combat zone
Airman 1st Class Cory Sundeen shares the group's general enthusiasm "It's a few small changes, some good training," said Sundeen "And, of course, some nice warm weather"

Written for the web by Kevin Jacobsen
January 23, 2011 Updated Jan 23, 2011 at 11:56 AM CST
By KBJR News 1

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