| Senator Seeks Active Designation For The 148th In Duluth
Updated Aug 3, 2011 at 1:45 PM CDT
Minneapolis, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar is urging the U.S. 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 p.m. 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, D.C. 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
Hugo Yellow Ribbon Network Celebrates Five Years
Posted: 2014-12-18 10:32 AM
HUGO, Minn.- The city of Hugo celebrated its fifth anniversary as a Yellow Ribbon community at their city council meeting, Dec.15. The Minnesota National Guard's, Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Richard C. Nash, and Director of Military Outreach, Annette Kuyper, were on hand to say thank you to Hugo and its Yellow Ribbon Network volunteers.
"This city has changed how citizens can come together to support, honor and recognize veterans, Service members and their families," said Nash. "I especially commend Chuck Haas for all he has done to lead these efforts in your community."
Hugo Yellow Ribbon network Chairman Chuck Haas, a retired business owner, proud grandfather of six and a member of the Hugo city council since 1998 has been part of the Hugo program since the beginning.
A First Sergeant's Surprise
Posted: 2014-12-16 08:13 AM
BLOOMINGTON, Minn.- The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., became a Yellow Ribbon company earlier this year, which proclaims the company's dedication to past and present Service members and their families. To celebrate this, they held its first Holiday for Heroes event at the Mall the morning of Dec. 14.
The event shut down the park for a few hours on Sunday to allow veterans and their families to come and enjoy all the rides for free, as well as some food and giveaways. More than 3,000 took part in the event, but the day will be the most unforgettable for family and friends of 1st Sgt. Robert Renning of the 133rd Airlift Wing in St. Paul, Minn.
204th ASMC commander provides mission update on Minnesota Military Radio
Posted: 2014-12-15 02:06 PM
ST. PAUL, Minn.- More than 40 Soldiers with the Minnesota National Guard's 204th Area Support Medical Company left Cottage Grove, Sept 14, 2014, for a nine-month deployment in support of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in Sinai, Egypt.
After pre-deployment training at Fort Dix, N.J., the unit arrived in Eqypt in mid-October to begin their mission of providing health service support, medical care and health protection measures for members of 14 different nations that make up the MFO.
Capt. Jonathan Vang, commander of the 204th ASMC, recently called in to Minnesota Military Radio to give an update on how the unit is adapting to its new mission overseas.
CMSAF Cody visits with 148th Airmen
Posted: 2014-12-15 01:01 PM
DULUTH, Minn.- Seven Airmen from the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. were given the opportunity to visit with the Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force James A. Cody on Nov. 1, 2014. Chief Cody was in Minnesota to visit the 934th Airlift Wing, Minneapolis, Minn. during their drill weekend and held an Airmen's Call which members of the 148FW attended.
During the Airmen's Call, Chief Cody stressed the importance of all components of the Air Force to include the Guard and Reserve, discussed downsizing the force and what that might mean to future missions and thanked everyone for the contributions they make to the Air Force.
"I thought that the Chief's town-hall meeting format was great. He opened the floor to questions right off the bat and really put himself out there for the ranks to ask questions, said Master Sgt. Nick Downs, 148th Fighter Wing. The atmosphere and his demeanor made it comfortable for any Airman to ask questions."