| Senator Seeks Active Designation For The 148th In Duluth
Updated Aug 3, 2011 at 1:45 PM CDT
Minneapolis, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) US Senator Amy Klobuchar is urging the US Air Force to designate the 148th Fighter Wing at the Duluth Air National Guard Base as an “active association” wing
Klobuchar will be in Duluth this Friday afternoon to meet with commanders from the 148th as well as business and community leaders from the Duluth area
They are working together on a coordinated effort to secure approval from the Air Force
The Friday meeting will be at 2:00 pm at the 148th Fighter Wing
“Active association” is a program that assigns active-duty Air Force personnel to National Guard bases It allows regular active-duty airmen to work side-by-side with National Guard airmen and learn from their experience and expertise
“Active association at the 148th Fighter Wing would provide excellent training opportunities for active-duty airmen,” Klobuchar wrote in her letter
Klobuchar noted that active association designation for the Duluth airbase would help the Air Force reduce costs while improving combat readiness
In a letter Wednesday to Air Force Secretary Michael B Donley, Klobuchar wrote: “Active association at the 148th Fighter Wing would ensure a strong network of support for an active duty unit at a significantly lower cost to the Air Force
The Duluth community provides a vibrant infrastructure to support the wing, including access to affordable housing, transportation, education, and recreation
Stationing an active duty unit at the 148th Fighter Wing, rather than at an active duty airbase, would ensure the highest level of support to the unit members and their families while reducing the Air Force’s operations costs”
Active association designation could bring upwards of 60 active-duty Air Force personnel to Duluth
Currently, the presence of the 148th currently accounts for more than $100 million in annual revenue in the Duluth area
Klobuchar has also noted that active association would help ensure the Duluth airbase’s long-term future and bring increased revenue to the Duluth area economy
Under active association, the Air National Guard unit serves as the host wing and maintains primary responsibility for weapons systems, but shares the mission with the regular Air Force associate wing
During her time in the Senate, Klobuchar has worked hard to sustain the long-term viability and success of the 148th
Last year, she helped secure 18 Block 50 F-16s for the Duluth airbase
She is also working with the Air Force to acquire F-35 planes in the future
Earlier this year retired Brig Gen Tim Cossalter, former commander of the 148th, joined Klobuchar’s Minnesota staff as outreach director for veterans affairs and military issues
Below is the text of Klobuchar’s letter to the Secretary of the Air Force:
August 3, 2011
The Honorable Michael B Donley"¨Secretary of the Air Force"¨1670 Air Force Pentagon"¨
Washington, DC 20330-1670
Dear Secretary Donley:
I write to express my strong support for designating the 148th Fighter Wing at the Duluth Air National Guard Base in Duluth, MN, as an “active association” wing As you review potential force structure changes in the coming fiscal year, I respectfully urge you to consider active association at Duluth as a means to reduce costs while improving the mission readiness of active duty airmen
Active association at the 148th Fighter Wing would provide excellent training opportunities for active duty airmen As you know, the 148th Fighter Wing recently won the Raytheon Trophy for Best Air Superiority Squadron and has received “Excellent” or “Outstanding” ratings on all 15 of its most recent major inspections In addition, the wing maintains exclusive ownership and scheduling rights for one of the largest airspace complexes in the nation Providing an active duty unit with the opportunity to train at Duluth’s spacious campus alongside the experienced personnel of the 148th would considerably strengthen its mission capability and increase its combat readiness
Active association at the 148th Fighter Wing would also ensure a strong network of support for an active duty unit at a significantly lower cost to the Air Force The Duluth community provides a vibrant infrastructure to support the wing, including access to affordable housing, transportation, education, and recreation Stationing an active duty unit at the 148th Fighter Wing, rather than at an active duty airbase, would ensure the highest level of support to the unit members and their families while reducing the Air Force’s operations costs
During my time in the Senate, I have worked hard to sustain the long-term viability of the 148th With your support, we helped bring 18 Block 50 F-16s to the wing last year, and I look forward to working with the Air Force to acquire F-35 planes for the wing in the future I have met several times with the Minnesota Air National Guard and the Military Affairs Committee of the Duluth Chamber of Commerce to discuss the issue of active association Both organizations are fully committed to ensuring a seamless transition to active association at the 148th Fighter Wing
Northeastern Minnesota has a strong tradition of military support, and we would be proud to welcome an active duty unit to live and train alongside our Duluth “Bulldogs” Thank you for your consideration of this request, and I look forward to working with you to support the men and women of our Air Force
Sincerely, "¨Amy Klobuchar"¨
United States Senator
Minnesota Guardsman recognized for cultural influence and leadership
Posted: 2016-05-19 09:08 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - For his work to promote diversity and build community relationships, Minnesota National Guard Warrant Officer Candidate Alan Lee received the Federal Asian Pacific American Council's Military Meritorious Service Award in Orlando, Fla., May 10, 2016. He was also recognized with a resolution in the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives, May 18.
"To be selected as one out of 12 in the entire nation, I'm really honored," said Lee. "I'm still speechless about it, but I'm truly humbled for it. I don't even believe that I'm deserving of it, I just feel like I'm doing something for the community and for the National Guard."
Lee, whose parents were sponsored to come to America in 1980 as Laotian refugees in Thailand, was born in California and moved to Minnesota in 1990 to be with the rest of his large, extended family. Growing up, Lee heard stories about his grandfather and uncle serving in the Vietnam War which motivated him to want to serve as well. He enlisted at the age of 17 when he was a junior in high school.
Minnesota National Guard aviators respond to wildfires in northern Minnesota
Posted: 2016-05-18 09:21 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Helicopter crews of the Minnesota National Guard joined firefighters May 6-9, 2016, in northern Minnesota to battle wildfires.
In response to requests made by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources through the Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Governor Mark Dayton authorized the use of four UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters and support personnel to assist in suppression of wildfires across the Iron Range in northern Minnesota.
"Our mission was to provide aviation support to the wildfire suppression missions which assisted the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources," said Maj. Jeremy Degier, aviation duty officer.
Planning and Execution: Keys to a Good Deployment
Posted: 2016-05-16 10:36 AM
DULUTH, Minn. - In early April 2016, the 148th Fighter Wing deployed approximately 300 Airmen and about a dozen F-16's to Osan Air Base, Korea as part of a Theater Security Package (TSP). TSP's have been an integral part of the U.S. Pacific Air Command's force posture since 2004. TSP deployments are routine and not due to any specific threat in the region and usually last three to four months. So, what does it take to make a deployment like this happen?
"From a Logistical Readiness Squadron (LRS) perspective, I would break a deployment into two phases; planning and execution," said Maj. Darin Phillips, 148th Fighter Wing Installation Deployment Officer.
During the planning phase personnel are trained according to the deployment reporting instructions of that theater, to include medical requirements and other personal qualifications. On the cargo side, Unit Deployment Managers (UDMs) and increment monitors work to build their cargo, so load plans can be submitted to get airlift for both equipment and personnel.
133rd Airlift Wing Welcomes New Commander
Posted: 2016-05-13 10:45 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. - During a change of command ceremony, April 16, 2016, at the 133rd Airlift Wing's South Hangar, Col. Daniel E. Gabrielli took charge of the 133rd Airlift Wing from the outgoing commander, Col. James T. Johnson.
The military tradition of passing the unit guidon from the outgoing commander to the incoming commander was carried out with prestige by the presiding officer, Brig. Gen. David Hamlar, Minnesota National Guard Assistant Adjutant General - Air, with the assistance of Command Chief Master Sgt. Paul Kessler. Members of the wing, past and present, as well as friends and family filled the entire hangar to witness the event and to pass on well-wishes to both men.
"To all of you who make up the collective 133rd Airlift Wing, you are the heart and soul of the machine which accomplishes the mission on a day-to-day basis," said Gabrielli during his address to the Airmen. "My challenge to you all as well as myself, is to keep our focus simple. Be the best you can be and continually ask yourself - are you as ready as you can possibly be to execute your wartime mission?"