Duluth's 148th Fighter Wing was recognized recently for their exceptional work overseas. The Director of the Air National Guard posted the accolades on social media, highlighting what our local airmen accomplished in a deployment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.

The 148th Fighter wing deployed their 179th Fighter Squadron to the US Air Forces Central Area or responsibility in the middle east. They operated out of the Prince Sultan Air Base this last April. They flew over 730 sorties with more than 4,600 flight hours in their Block 50 F-16CM Fighting Falcons. The 148th squadron also pulled off two ACE missions in the middle of the sorties.

The goal of the operation was to demonstrate credible coalition airpower to "enhance regional security."

In a press release, the Air National Guard highlights just how well our servicemen did in the operation. Senior Master Sgt. Glen Flanagan commented on the deployment:

“Day in and day out we met the air-tasking order objectives almost flawlessly. To pull off two ACE missions in the middle of that and have the opportunity to operate how we train was awesome to see.”

Flanagan also said this was a riskier mission than exercises at home because they had "real adversaries to deal with" and that it was an intense assignment.

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The fighter pilots did their job in the air and forged partnerships. On the ground, the guardsmen also learned new roles and helped train other squadrons.

“Having some of our specialists learn how to be a crew chief and doing those functions well was really good to see,” said Flanagan. “We also had a couple of different groups come down from the 379th out of Al Udeid. We trained their weapons guys on how to do integrated combat turns on F-16s and their crew chiefs how to do hot pit refueling.”

Well done, 148th Bulldogs! You make our region proud.

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