History
Minnesota National Guard
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

Article source
http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/news/local/Senator-Seeks-Active-Association--126712213.html



Articles archive

In The News archive

Media Advisory archive

Latest News

Troops on Camp Ripley Battle the Heat

Posted: 2015-07-30  01:30 PM
Camp Ripley heat CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. – Despite what some unit commanders may wish, personnel training on Camp Ripley have little control of the weather and the conditions it creates here in Central Minnesota.

While training at Camp Ripley, members of the Ohio National Guard’s 1st Combined Arms Battalion – 145th Armor, conducted vehicle gunnery, individual weapons qualification and maneuver training in Minnesota’s Summer temps which reached 92 degrees with 94% humidity July 27, 2015.



Red Bull Soldier Recognized for Data Management

Posted: 2015-07-28  12:08 PM
SFC Matovich RED BULL SGT 1ST CLASS MATOVICH MANAGES BATTLE DATA FOR TALISMAN SABRE 2015

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington- Red Bull Soldier Sgt. 1st Class Michael Matovich was recognized with a challenge coin 13 July by Brig. Gen. William Lieder, the 34th Infantry Division Deputy Commander (Support), for his Battle Desk expertise in manning the division's White Cell Battle Desk in support of Exercise Talisman Sabre.



Red Bulls Confirm Advantages of Citizen-Soldier for Asst. Secretary of Army

Posted: 2015-07-28  11:52 AM
Hon Debra Wada HON. DEBRA WADA VISITS 34th INFANTRY DIVISION AT TALISMAN SABRE 2015

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington- The senior staff of the 34th Infantry Division were happy to host a visit from a key military decision maker as they participated in Exercise Talisman Sabre, 14 July. The Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), Ms. Debra S. Wada, met with the 34th Infantry Division Deputy Commander (Support) Brig. Gen. William Lieder and his staff to discuss training, personnel and training issues.



Red Bull Digital Master Gunner sets up Talisman Sabre for Success

Posted: 2015-07-28  10:59 AM
Talisman Sabre 2015 COMMAND POST OF THE FUTURE INTEGRATES DIVISION AND CORPS STAFF IN TS15 EXERCISE

Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington- Much of the 34th Infantry Division's mission in the Talisman Sabre 2015 exercise depended upon the network of computers staged at Joint Base Lewis-McChord earlier this month. One software technician played a key role in setting the stage prior to the division's arrival.



Article archive
 
top