abc
QUICK LINKS:

148th Members Home After Weeks of NATO Training

Updated: 06/20/2014 6:40 PM
Created: 06/20/2014 5:09 PM WDIO.com
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

It was a dreary day to fly into Duluth, but members of the 148th Fighter Wing are savoring their homecoming despite the weather. They landed Friday afternoon after a 5-week training exercise with NATO partners in Europe.

“It was a long flight, 9 and a half hours, and we almost missed it because of the weather,” Master Sgt. Jason Swor said.

Fog hung on the runway and a chill lingered in the breeze as he embraced his three daughters on the tarmac. He said he was ready for a Sammy's pizza with his daughters and all the emotion that comes with it.

“Joy,” Swor said. “Fantastic, good to see the girls, and I'm going to go surprise my wife at Maurices. She doesn't know I'm home.”

The airmen worked with NATO Air Force partners in Bulgaria and Estonia according to Lt. Col. Nathan Aysta.

“Our maintenance people and our jets were located on the same flight line, as you see here, next to the Bulgarians so there was interaction every day amongst our two countries' military members,” Aysta said.

He said the military units have to be prepared to work together in an emergency and the training comes in handy when you're coordinating jets. The 148th brough F-16s with them for the exercise while their Bulgarian counterparts flew MiG-29s.

Aysta said some members did get a chance to experience Europe in their downtime.

“Then out in Estonia, a lot of the members went up to Tallinn and Helsinki so really got to experience the local culture and community,” Aysta said.

He said flying home into fog wasn't tough after the weather abroad.

“We even saw a little bit of sleet and snow on one of the last days there so coming back to Duluth it wasn't that big of a difference from Estonia,” Aysta said.

He called the exercise a success and said the Airmen are now better prepared to protect us and our allies abroad.

Front Page

  • St. Louis County Follows National Rise in Female Incarceration

    The number of women behind bars in the U.S. is rising at an alarming rate: nearly double the increases seen for male incarceration. While the number of incarcerated women in this country is still significantly less than men, but it's a 646 percent increase in women behind bars over the last 30 years that's turning heads.

  • UMD Professor Getting National Recognition for Research

    Professor Byron Steinman is in his second semester at UMD, but he is already making a big impression. Steinman has been working over a year on the causes of climate change, and his recent work is getting published in Science Magazine. Furthermore, it is getting some national attention, including from U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

  • Gogebic Taconite Suspends Investments, Closes Hurley Office

    Blaming regulatory uncertainty, Gogebic Taconite has suspended investments in its proposed northern Wisconsin mine and closed its office in Hurley, leaving four people without jobs and raising questions about whether the mine will ever be built.

  • Minnesota's Anticipated Surplus Swells to $1.87 Billion

    Minnesota's bank account is projected to run up a $1.87 billion surplus over the next two years, which will drive calls for new spending, tax cuts or most likely a mix.  The surplus is substantially more than the $1 billion estimated in December.

  • Middle Schoolers Tackle Ice Fishing on St. Louis River

    Middle school students from St. James School put their lessons into practice on Friday. They have been studying ice fishing in their life science curriculum this year, thanks to funding from a STEM grant.

 
Advertisement