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 2016 the 148th Fighter Wing was the seventh-largest employer in Duluth,
employing more than 1,000 Airmen and maintaining 22 aircraft. The jets are the
most advanced F-16s in the U.S. inventory, and the 148th Fighter Wing is one of
only two National Guard wings operating the aircraft and flying Suppression of
Enemy Air Defense missions. In addition to its SEAD capabilities, the 148th Fighter
Wing supports domestic operations with Airmen trained in firefighting, handling of
hazardous materials, biological response, explosive ordnance disposal and medical
In 2016 the 148th Fighter Wing deployed more than 300 Airmen and 10 F-16s to
South Korea to provide U.S. Pacific Command and Pacific Air Forces with Theater
Security Packages, which help maintain a deterrent against threats to regional security
and stability. In addition to flying more than 600 sorties in support of the mission,
the 148th Fighter Wing enabled the regional commander's mission by providing
maintenance, fuel and other flight operations support.
Airmen with the 148th Fighter Wing also conducted the Northern Lightning exercise
at Volk Field, Wisconsin. The two-week training event brought together Airmen
from more than 10 states, flying five different aircraft to perform counter-air, SEAD
and close air support missions.
The 148th Fighter Wing continues to maintain the resources and infrastructure to
support the Active Associate Program, which provides a unique opportunity to gain
experience and training for Airmen of the U.S. Air Force. The wing not only has
the capacity to maintain and support active duty pilots that require flight time in
the F-16, but could also support training on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter - the next
generation of fighter jet.
In 2017 Airmen with the 148th Fighter Wing will undergo several large-scale, joint
training events, including the Northern Lightning, Sentry Aloha and Weasel Maker
exercises. Sentry Aloha will provide the wing's F-16 pilots the opportunity to integrate
with pilots from the Hawaii National Guard flying the F-22 Raptor, while the Weasel
Maker scenario at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, offers the most realistic technology
to test pilots' abilities to neutralize surface-to-air threats.
Unit Address: 4680 Viper Street, Duluth MN 55811 Unit Telephone: 218.788.7210 Recruiter Telephone: 218.788.7818