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Minnesota National Guard
New Display To Showcase Pride in 148th Fighter Wing

DULUTH, Minn (Northland's NewsCenter) -- The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, through its Military Affairs Committee, has begun construction of a display to showcase the region's pride in its 148th Fighter Wing

The display features an F-16 "Fighting Falcon" jet that is being mounted along the new entrance to the 148th Air National Guard facility at the Duluth International Airport

The display is being managed by Kraus-Anderson Construction Company and designed by LHB, Inc

Over a dozen subcontractors and companies are donating their time and materials for this special project Key corporate members of the Military Affairs Committee include Kraus-Anderson; LHB, Inc; Minnesota Power; and Minnesota Air National Guard

148th Fighter Wing:

On September 17, 1948, a small group of 50 men were mustered in on the flight line of the Duluth municipal airport to become the nucleus of the newly formed Air National Guard unit -- the 179th Fighter Squadron

This new unit came under the control of the 133rd Fighter Wing located in the Twin Cities until July 1, 1960 when the 148th Fighter Group was formed

In the beginning, there were no permanent buildings or full-time employees in the unit Temporary Works Progress Administration (WPA) shacks and a couple of corners in the Duluth Armory served the needs of the unit for several years

Wednesday, the base is located at the Duluth International Airport, adjacent to a 10,000-foot runway

Over 50 buildings are located on the 400-acre base at the end of Haines Road
With the closing of the active duty Duluth Air Force Base in 1983, the Minnesota Air National Guard became the largest military organization in the Duluth area

Of the statewide strength of 2,500 Air Guard personnel, approximately 1,000 people are currently members of the 148 Fighter Wing in Duluth

Of the total workforce, over 450 people are employed at the base on a full-time basis, making it one of Duluth's largest employers

The 148th Fighter Wing currently flies the Block 50 F-16, the most capable F-16, or Viper, in the United States Air Force Fleet

The 148th is a nationally recognized Air Force Wing, earning multiple Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards, including the 2009 Department of Defense Family Readiness Award, 2008 Raytheon Trophy, and 2006 and 2009 Air Force Association Outstanding Flying Unit Awards

This recognition, partnered with its notable inspection results, is how the Wing adopted its new motto "Legacy of Excellence"

Skyline Rotary donated money for the pole that will support the F-16 and will help maintain the site, Mullen said

Story by Melissa Burlaga
Duluth News Tribune
13 July 2011

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