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Minnesota National Guard
Training leads to increased flights over Panama City

PANAMA CITY — That low roar heard over Panama City the past two nights, or the increased air traffic, could be part of larger combined maneuvers being held at Tyndall Air Force Base

The Air Force confirmed Tuesday an increase in activity with the addition of a US Coast Guard group from Minnesota for training

The 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, Minn, is spending two weeks at Tyndall working with the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group (WEG) to better prepare them for combat

Tyndall officials also acknowledged there was night training at the base

“We came here to shoot missiles and drop live ordnance to be better prepared for our air sovereignty alert mission,” said the 148th Fighter Wing’s Lt. Col. Reed Bowman “We also came to the WEG to validate our new weapons system”

The 148th Fighter Wing supports the Continental US North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) region in carrying out Operation Noble Eagle — the command’s response to the terrorist attacks on Sept 11, 2001 The fighter wing is currently in the process of replacing its Block 25 F-16s with more advanced Block 50 F-16s that have different engines and internal avionics

The 53rd WEG, a detachment of the 53rd Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, provides the Duluth pilots an opportunity that doesn’t come around too often

“The last time we were here and had the opportunity to shoot live missiles was 2000,” Bowman said

During their two-week stay, the 148th Fighter Wing will run scenarios and missions created by the WEG, which evaluates the fighter wing on their tactics, techniques and procedures from the ground up

According to the US Coast Guard, evaluations of machinery and personnel will be made during the trip
“The training we receive here gives us confidence in our jets’ ability to perform,” Bowman said “When we shoot the live ordnance, we know our weapons system performs as advertised Without the live ordnance, it’s like a placebo effect”

That’s an important advantage in a wing where nearly half of the pilots have never had the chance to fly a real-world alert mission

While this deployment is an important step in the conversion to the new Block 50 F-16s, it’s not the first training the pilots and maintainers have completed since they received their first new jets in April 2010

“The internal architecture of the Block 50 is completely different from the Block 25,” Col Bowman said “It’s a significantly different mission and skill set”

February 01, 2011 06:12:00 PM

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Red Bulls Kickoff Division Warfighter

Posted: 2018-06-13  01:38 PM
DIV WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - "A Warfighter is an exercise that allows the Division to evaluate their ability to maneuver assets in a battle," said Master Sgt. Greg Weaver, the Operations Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge for the Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion. "It is designed to focus on particular areas and specific objectives to be evaluated or tested."

The Division has geared its' planning and training efforts in preparation for Warfighter since July 2017. Coordinating transportation for Soldiers and equipment was often on the mind of Maj. David Johansson, the logistics officer for the 34th ID. With the coordination of Johansson and his team, troops and equipment all converged on Camp Atterbury, enlisting the help of 89 railcars, 280 tractor-trailers, and nearly 50 buses for the movement.

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Minnesota-based aviation unit takes part in Warfighter Exercise

Posted: 2018-06-08  11:59 AM
34ECAB WFX CAMP ATTERBURY, Ind. - More than 150 Soldiers of the Minnesota National Guard's 34th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade are here participating in a multi-echelon training event, Warfighter Exercise 18-5, May 30 to June 15.

The exercise, which is part live and part virtual, is testing the St. Paul, Minnesota-based aviation unit's ability to conduct operations and mission command in a high-intensity, complex operating environment. Soldiers are being challenged to take decisive action as they focus on air-ground operations -- or synchronizing and integrating aviation operations into the scheme of maneuver planned and conducted by forces on the ground.

In this case, the units on the ground are being commanded by the Rosemount, Minnesota-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division, which is also participating in the exercise.

148th Fighter Wing hosts STEM program for Duluth-area students

Posted: 2018-06-05  08:52 AM
Starbase Duluth DULUTH, Minn. - Dozens of community and industry leaders passionate about helping children become more engaged in science, technology, engineering and math gathered at the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, Minn., May 24, 2018, to see what STARBASE Minnesota Duluth is doing for young students in the area.

STARBASE is a Department of Defense youth program that engages students in STEM studies. The program began in 1991, and STARBASE Minnesota was founded in 1993 in St. Paul, which expanded to Duluth in July 2017.

Currently, the school program is open to fifth-grade students, said Charity S. Rupp, the director of STARBASE Minnesota Duluth. The summer camp will serve students in 4-6th grade. Eventually, she hopes the program will expand into STARBASE 2.0 to serve middle school students as an after school program during the academic school year.

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Posted: 2018-05-22  10:16 AM
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The display, dubbed the American Veterans Traveling Tribute, was hosted by Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Austin and featured a near-replica of the memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It was an honor to be part of this humbling and moving tribute to our Vietnam veterans," said Col. Stephen Schemenauer. "The traveling Vietnam Wall is a powerful display, and this event provided an opportunity to meet, and thank, service members from WWII to present-day conflicts. Regardless of their branch of service, or the era or conflict in which they served, we all share a common bond."

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