| 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
Norwegian youth recognized for response to vehicle accident
Posted: 2017-02-22 09:59 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - Norwegian youths Stian Dahl and Haavard Engen received the Camp Ripley Garrison Commander's coin from Col. Scott St Sauver February 19, 2017, in recognition for reacting to a vehicle accident they witnessed earlier that week.
As part of the U.S.-Norway Reciprocal Troop Exchange, Norwegian youths ages 19-20 are matched up with a host family in order to spend an evening experiencing American culture. In most situations the "Buddy Weekend" as it's called allows the youths to go shopping, attend events and have home-cook meals along with their host family.
"We are able to match up youth members with families all over the state," said Staff Sgt. Tim Krouth, Buddy Weekend organizer. "Lots of the families have hosted one or two of our Norwegian friends for several years in a row now, it a great way to relax and see some of Minnesota."
To the top of the mountain and back, NOREX 44 members embrace the Norwegian winter
Posted: 2017-02-21 01:25 PM
HALTDALEN, Norway - After two days at a base camp near Haltdalen, Norway, Minnesota National Guardsmen participating in the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange were ready for the most challenging aspect of their four-day field training exercise - a ski march up the mountain.
It was Day three of the FTX, meaning members of the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange had slowly adjusted to surviving and thriving while living in a winter environment and also honed their skills on cross country skills well enough to begin a climb that would take nearly three hours.
"Our goal was to get you to know how to use the winter, see how the Norwegians use the winter, and how we survive the winter so we can conduct combat," said Vidar Aune, one of several members of Home Guard 12 guiding the Minnesota National Guard Soldiers and Airmen during their training here. "By getting the experience living outside in the snow, you manage to survive it and handle it quite well."
Norwegian youth train with Minnesota National Guard
Posted: 2017-02-16 10:52 AM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. -Youth of the Norwegian Home Guard experienced some of Minnesota culture along with focused military style training during the first week of NOREX 2017.
The U.S.--Norway reciprocal Troop Exchange, which began Feb. 9, 2017, annually swaps approximately 100 Soldiers and Airmen from the Minnesota National Guard and a like number of Norwegian Home Guard soldiers as well as youths to experience each other's training, military lifestyle and most importantly, culture.
"It's rewarding interacting with more young people eager to learn about a new lifestyle and culture," said Capt. Brett Farniok, Youth Platoon Officer-in-Charge.
Warmly welcomed, U.S. contingent arrives in Norway for NOREX 44
Posted: 2017-02-12 01:38 PM
CAMP VAERNES, Norway - Following a muster at the 133rd Airlift Wing and an eight-hour overnight flight across the Atlantic Ocean, nearly 100 Soldiers and Airmen with the Minnesota National Guard finally arrived in Norway to conduct the 44th Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange on Feb. 9, 2017.
While the U.S.-based Soldiers were warmly greeted by members of the Norwegian Home Guard at Camp Vaernes, a similarly-sized group of Norwegian Home Guard members were received at Camp Ripley Training Center. The arrival of military members from both countries to their host nations formally began the annual exchange, which provides a unique opportunity for individuals to become fully-immersed in foreign military and social culture.
"Though I didn't know what to expect before getting here, they have been very welcoming," said Air Force Staff Sgt. Taylor Hanson, a member of the 148th Fighter Wing. "They are making sure we had everything."