More than 300 airmen from the 148th to deploy this spring

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Another deployment for the 148th Fighter Wing. This time, more than 300 airmen and F-16 aircraft will head overseas in April.

The wing says they will return in the summer.

“The 148th Fighter Wing has been tasked to support the ongoing mission in the U.S. Central Command,” said 148th Fighter Wing Commander, Col. Chris Blomquist. “Winning today’s fight means executing the daily missions across the theater to meet the USCENTCOM commander’s priorities. Each of our Airmen is important to this mission,” added Blomquist.

USCENTCOM area of responsibility includes 21 countries like Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the UAE.

According to the wing, this deployment is a regularly scheduled Air Expeditionary Force deployment for the 148th. This tasking is not the result of current events in Ukraine.

Jennifer Cady is a retired member of the 148th Fighter Wing. She is now the Chair of the Military Affairs Committee, a volunteer effort by the Duluth Chamber. She told us, "I think community support during difficult times like deployments is really critical. The Chamber represents the businses community and in many cases, the employers of those airmen. We try and support them the best we can."

The MAC advocates for the military health of the entire region. For the 148th, that means working on funding and infrastructure investment, so the wing can be poised for future missions.

In 2021, the 148th Fighter Wing performed diverse state and federal missions including providing security support to the 59th Presidential Inauguration, providing COVID-19 pandemic support across the state, assisting civil authorities during civil unrest in the Twin Cities, and wild fire suppression support in Northern Minnesota.

Currently, the 148th has more than 100 Airmen deployed supporting USCENTCOM and U.S. Africa Command missions.

In addition to overseas missions, 148th Airmen are supporting Operation Allies Welcome. This mission ensures Afghan personnel have the support they need as they transition to their new life in the U.S.