Maj. Ryan Kaspari and Master Sgt. Jeremiah Graves conduct repairs on the main runway at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. Photo by: Airman 1st Class Bobby Cummings
The 148th Fighter Wing, headquartered in Duluth, operates the F-16C Block 50 Fighting Falcon. The full wing structure, which includes the headquarters, communications, logistics, civil engineer, maintenance and security sections, 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 2014 the wing was the ninth-largest employer in Duluth, employing more than 1,000 airmen and maintaining 22 fighter aircraft. The F-16Cs the wing operates are the most advanced F-16s in the U.S. inventory. The 148th is one of two National Guard wings operating the aircraft and flying Suppression of Enemy Air Defense missions. The wing exceeded all of its goals in regard to personnel strength, retention, aircraft capability and pilot readiness. Additionally, pilots flew a total of 3,402 hours.
In 2014 the wing deployed 64 airmen in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. An additional 113 airmen deployed in support of other contingency operations in Alaska, Bulgaria and Estonia.
Contingency operations in Bulgaria included participation in the Thracian Star exercise to train on interception and air combat with a multitude of aircraft, including Bulgaria's MiG-29s. Following Thracian Star, members of the 148th Fighter Wing traveled to Estonia to participate in joint training exercises BALTOPS and Saber Strike to facilitate cooperation among U.S., Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian forces and enhance maritime capabilities and interoperability in the larger Baltic region.
In 2014 the 148th Fighter Wing completed its one-year Aerospace Control Alert mission, with personnel and F-16s operating from the California Air National Guard Base in Fresno. The alert mission, in support of U.S. Northern Command, saw wing personnel execute 190, around-the-clock sorties totaling more than 280 flight hours with zero mishaps. The wing established a branch of the Distributed Training Operations Center, which facilitates realistic simulations to maintain personnel readiness.
Airmen will prepare for three training exercises, which will include Suppression of Enemy Air Defense training in Georgia and Alaska, and ordnance delivery training in Utah.
The 148th was designated as an 18 Primary Aircraft Authorization Active Associate wing in 2012, and the wing will continue to work with the National Guard Bureau to make up the shortfall of approximately 50 airmen.
The wing anticipates the approval of a plan to extend the Duluth International Airport Crosswind Runway. The runway would be mutually beneficial and enhance operations for the 148th Fighter Wing.
Unit Address: 4680 Viper Street, Duluth MN 55811 Unit Telephone: 218.788.7210 Recruiter Telephone: 218.788.7818