April 28, 2010 (by 2nd Lt. Jodi Kiminski) - The first wave of F-16C block 50 Fighting Falcon aircraft arrived at the 148th Fighter Wing, Tuesday, April 27.
USAF F-16C block 50 #91-0388 from Spangdahlem AB arrives at Duluth ANGB on April 27th, 2010. The aircraft is one of the first block 50 F-16s to arrive at the wing as the unit becomes the first ANG unit to convert to the block 50 aircraft from Active Duty Air Force. [USAF photo by TSgt. Brett R. Ewald]
The F-16s will be transferred from the 22nd Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany. The conversion from the Wing's current F-16 block 25
to the new block 50
aircraft will take approximately 18 to 24 months. Pilots and aircraft maintenance personnel are currently attending technical training for the new aircraft.
The 148th FW is the first Air National Guard Wing to convert to the Block 50 from the active duty Air Force. This aircraft boasts an improved engine with more thrust as well as enhancements to the aircraft structure and avionics. It also includes a greater computer capacity for future upgrades and improvements.
In 2005, the 148th FW was slated for re-alignment and retirement of its current F-16 fleet as part of the Air Force Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC
) recommendations. The newer F-16s provide updated technologies that will give the Wing ready capabilities beyond 2020.
Additional waves of aircraft will continue to arrive throughout April and May.