| 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
347th RSG's top Soldiers gut it out for title of Best Warrior
Posted: 2016-10-17 03:24 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - The 347th Regional Support Group hosted a brigade-level Best Warrior Competition at Camp Ripley Training Center from Oct. 14 to 16, 2016, to select the brigade's Best NCO and Best Soldier - both of whom will represent the brigade at the state-level competition in 2017.
"We made a point to make this event challenging, and it has been," said Sgt. 1st Class Mark Shields, assistant operations NCO for the brigade. "Regardless of the outcome, the Soldiers competing for the title of Best Warrior are getting great training value."
Ten Soldiers made up this year's field, representing 5 of the 9 units that make up the brigade. The contestants are supported by nearly forty Soldiers participating as sponsors, evaluators and staff to provide direction, motivation and support.
Minnesota National Guard celebrates Hispanic heritage month
Posted: 2016-10-16 10:46 AM
ARDEN HILLS, Minn. - The Minnesota National Guard celebrated Hispanic Heritage month by inviting two members of the Hispanic community to share their stories during a potluck lunch at the Arden Hills Army Training Site, Oct. 11, 2016.
First to speak was Minnesota State Senator Patricia Torres Ray, one of two Latinas out of 67 senators in the Minnesota Senate. She spoke about her experience coming to the U.S. from Colombia and how not being able to speak the language made it a challenge to connect with people in her new country.
"I was not a minority in my country, because everybody that I knew looked like me," said Torres Ray. "I was not connected to the multi-cultural global world that you live in."
Major General Nash to Continue Service as Adjutant General of Minnesota
Posted: 2016-10-12 01:57 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2016
ST. PAUL, Minn.-
After a successful appeal by Governor Mark Dayton to former National Guard Bureau Chief General Frank J. Grass, Major General Richard C. Nash will continue serving the state of Minnesota as Adjutant General until the state's mandatory retirement, through October 31, 2017. Without Governor Dayton's action, Major General Nash would have faced retirement under the national requirement, which would have taken effect September 30, 2016.
"Major General Nash is an exceptional leader who has served our state and nation with great distinction," said Governor Dayton. "His leadership and experience are invaluable to the Minnesota National Guard and the citizens of our state. I thank General Grass and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter for granting this extension, and I thank Major General Nash for continuing his outstanding service to Minnesota."
Care of injured bird comes full circle
Posted: 2016-10-12 12:45 PM
CAMP RIPLEY, Minn. - An eagle was released back in the wild Oct. 4, 2016, at Camp Ripley following three months of rehabilitation.
"We'd like to thank the team at Camp Ripley for rescuing and bringing this bald eagle to the Raptor Center for care," said Amber Burnette, program associate with the Raptor Center University of Minnesota. "It was our pleasure to be a part of bringing this bird back home."
The bald eagle was found along a Morrison County highway by a soldier working at Camp Ripley in mid-July, 2016. At first glance, the bird appeared to be injured and not responding to the traffic that was driving by.