October 4, 2004 (by Lieven Dewitte) - Mayor Bruce Furness plans a trip to Washington this week, to try to persuade senior Defense Department officials to keep the North Dakota Air National Guard unit in his city.
178th FS - Happy Hooligans ND ANG (Chris Jensen collection)
Officials want to protect the 119th Fighter Wing, nicknamed the "Happy Hooligans," from the next round of military base closings.
The 119th Fighter Wing has 22 F-16 fighter jets, and 300 active-duty and 700 part-time Guard members. Besides its main operating base in Fargo, the unit also stations fighter pilots at an alert post at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, thus providing air defense for a large portion of the eastern United States.
The 119th is transitioning to become a multi-role fighter aircraft wing with both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat strike missions.