148th Fighter Wing Has New Commander

Amy Adamle
December 03, 2017 10:35 PM

The 148th Fighter Wing welcomed a new commander Sunday.  They held a special ceremony at the DECC to display the change of command. 

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With a change of command ceremony, comes great pride and tradition. 

The passing of the flag marks the official change, but for the previous commander, now Brigadier General Jon Safstrom, handing over the reigns wasn't easy.

"It's very tough.  It was the best job I've ever had in the military being a wing commander with a thousand airmen at the Duluth base here," Safstrom said. 

He'll leave behind a two year legacy of hard work and dedication as commander.

"It's bitter sweet like I said to leave. It's bitter because it means the end of a flying career," Safstrom said.  "General officers don't fly beyond the rank of colonel and wing commander."

His departure is because of his promotion to Brigadier General and the Minnesota National Guard's new Assistant Adjutant General.

"I'll be in charge of oversight, responsible for ensuring they get all their mission needs that they we keep two really strong wings in the state of Minnesota, that they're well funded and well equipped," Safstrom said.

He passes the ceremonial flag to Colonel Christopher Blomquist to become the new commander.

"It's sweet to know that the wing is in such good hands and we have such good people and it's ready to go," Safstrom said.  

Blomquist is homegrown.  

"I grew up in the Twin Ports and I've been a member of the 148th Fighter Wing since 1992 and I started out kind of from the bottom up working through college and went off to pilot training and it is just an honor and it is humbling to be the commander up here of the 148th Fighter Wing," Blomquist said.  

His eyes are already set on what he can do in the future.

"We are definitely in trying times and I have a very people and business oriented mind and sort of approach that I would like to take to make us more efficient and to better go into the next century," Blomquist said.  

They also gave out different awards and honored their retirees at the ceremony.  


Amy Adamle

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