S enior Airman Jessalyn Schmaedeke with the 148th Fighter Wing works on a Block 50 F-16 during a Sentry Savannah training exercise in Savannah, Georgia, on Feb. 10, 2015. The exercise allows fighter pilots to participate in war simulations that depict what they would face in a combat scenario. (Minnesota National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Ralph Kapustka)
The 148th Fighter Wing, headquartered in Duluth, operates the F-16C Block 50 Fighting Falcon to provide Suppression of Enemy Air Defense. The full wing structure, which includes headquarters, operations, maintenance, mission support and medical groups, is comprised of Airmen prepared to rapidly respond to support federal and state missions and community needs.
There are five major units in the 148th FW: Headquarters Group; Maintenance Group; Operations Group; Medical Group; and Mission Support Group.
As of 2015 the 148th Fighter Wing was the ninth-largest employer in Duluth, employing more than 1,000 Airmen. Operating the most advanced F-16s in the U.S. inventory, the unit is one of only two National Guard wings flying the aircraft and conducting SEAD missions.
In 2015 the 148th Fighter Wing had a total of 37 Airmen deployed overseas to support Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Freedom Sentinel and security missions with the U.S. Pacific Command.
In February members of the 148th Fighter Wing participated in the Sentry Savannah exercise in Georgia. The two-week event afforded pilots the opportunity to conduct air-to-air combat simulations with F-15, F-16, F-18, F-22, F-35 and T-38 aircraft.
In May 2015 the 148th Fighter Wing participated in the Combat Hammer exercise, an ordnance delivery exercise in Utah that familiarized pilots on more than 50 types of munitions that the F-16C can carry.
For their final training deployment, in August 2015, the 148th Fighter Wing participated in the three-week Red Flag exercise in Alaska. During the training members of the wing partnered with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force and Republic of Korea Air Force on SEAD operations.
Also in 2015, the 148th Fighter Wing welcomed its first pilot to participate in its Active Associate Program. The program, designed to distribute training resources throughout the Air Force components, provides active duty pilots the flight time and experience needed to become fully qualified.
In 2016 the 148th Fighter Wing will deploy a majority of its Airmen to support the U.S. Pacific Command's mission to deliver rapid and precise air capabilities to protect and defend the U.S. and its allies and maintain regional security.
The wing also looks to gain additional pilots for its Active Associate Program to provide trained and ready Airmen to the U.S. Air Force, and undergo a construction project which will increase the wing's flight capacity.
Unit Address: 4680 Viper Street, Duluth MN 55811 Unit Telephone: 218.788.7210 Recruiter Telephone: 218.788.7818