February 17, 2010 (by SSgt Donald Acton) - The 148th Fighter Wing, from Duluth Minnesota, deployed 113 members to Hickam Air Force Base in Oahu, Hawaii. They were deployed to participate in the training operation called Sentry Aloha with the 199th Fighter Squadron, which flies F-15's.
An F-16 piloted by LtCol John Klatt of the 148th FW out of Duluth Minnesota, flies over the Pacific Ocean near the Island of Oahu on February 9, 2010. The 148th FW is at Hickam AFB to partake in Sentry Aloha.
This opportunity was unique in that the 148th has been able to fly and train with dissimilar aircraft. Most of the time the 148th flies against other F-16's. The 148th has been conducting training missions as the "blue" and "red" forces, otherwise known as the good guys and bad guys.
In this way both squadrons receive equal training in both Offensive and Defensive counter air operations. Lieutenant Colonel Eric Chandler said, "We have been challenging to each other" when asked how the two fighter squadrons matched up. Despite engaging in mock warfare with the opposing guard unit there is still a strong sense of camaraderie between both units.
Oahu has provided some unique training opportunities that 148th pilots do not generally get back home. Here they are allowed to fly at higher altitudes and faster speeds than in Minnesota. The main reason for this is that all exercises are conducted over the ocean where there is more than enough room to perform manoeuvres safely without affecting the peaceful atmosphere of the Hawaiian Islands