November 9, 2007 (by TSgt. Jason Rolfe) - The 148th Fighter Wing based in Duluth, Minnesota deploys to Hickam AFB, Hawaii on November 9th, 2007 in support of Operation Noble Eagle (ONE).
Two USAF F-16A ADFs assigned to the 148th FW already flew missions in support of Operation Noble Eagle in 2002
The 148th will provide aircraft and personnel to stand-up a second Air Sovereignty Alert (ASA) site in the Pacific Command (PACOM). Though in a different Command Region, the mission the 148th will be performing mirrors its current tasking here in Duluth as the unit will be expected to employ and maintain its fighter aircraft to provide aerospace defense, warning and control for the United States.
Personnel will be on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing air sovereignty of their assigned area. Current indications are that wing personnel will be deployed anywhere from 2-4 weeks.
This is the second time in six months that the 148th has been asked to set up ASA operations within the U.S. "The unit consistently maintains a high level of readiness and our personnel are always ready and willing to support any taskings when asked." said Colonel Gary Moe, Mission Support Group Commander.
The 148th Fighter Wing promptly readied aircraft, packed equipment, confirmed deployment eligibility of deploying personnel and out-processed personnel. "At a moment's notice the deployment "machine" can activate and precisely follow many meticulous steps to ensure deployment ready airman arrive in the AOR to complete the mission" stated Mission Support Flight Superintendent, Chief Master Sergeant Jodi Stauber. Approximately 50 pilots, aircraft maintainers and support personnel volunteered for the short notice assignment.
The 148th Fighter Wing is one of several units called upon to continue operations around the globe usually accomplished by units with F-15 aircraft. The additional assignment comes in the wake of the Air Force grounding its entire fleet of F-15 Eagle aircraft following an accident in Missouri earlier in the month. The Air Force will ensure mission requirements are met for worldwide operations normally accomplished by the F-15.
The 148th has supported ONE at the 148th in Duluth, Minn and at several forward operating locations to include the Minneapolis International Airport, Minn, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.; Langley Air Force Base, Va.; Carswell Naval Air Station, Texas; and most recently Shaw Air Force Base, SC. Since September 11, 2001 the unit has flown over 1,600 missions spanning more than 5,300 hours in support of Operation Noble Eagle and the Homeland Defense mission.