148th Fighter Wing Holds Awards and Retirement Ceremony

Air National Guard wing honors active and retiring members

The 148th Air National Guard Fighter Wing honored many of their airmen and officers today.

The 148th held a retirement ceremony for members who dedicated more than 20 years of service to the military.

The 148th was joined by Senator Amy Klobuchar and Brigadeer General David Hamlar as they honored members at their annual awards and retirement ceremony today at the DECC.

“You have given other people the wings to fly. You have been their guardian angels and as you know, a lot of them are never going to know who you are. They will never meet you, but you have been there for them,” says U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar.

Seven members were awarded for their outstanding service during the course of the year and the fighter wing was recognized for their total contributions to the military.

“You went over there and not only accomplished your mission, but sold yourself to the act of duty,” said a speaker at the ceremony.

But their work in the community is also a big part of who they are.

“They’re really there to help and teach other people and other soldiers and other airmen and women who do their jobs so that part of it is great. They’re more a partnership in the communities that they serve,” says Klobuchar.

The 148th has over 1,000 members and is Duluth’s seventh largest employer, but the local impact of the fighter wing doesn’t end there.

“I think we sometimes as citizens look at the military as a separate organization and something members go do for us and protect us. Having a guard unit and having a unit in the community, that connection makes it all the more closer and more important for our community,” says Colonel Jon S. Safstrom, commander of the 148th.

And the commander can’t say enough about the work and service of the men and women in his wing.

“They’re talented, they’re highly motivated and they do fantastic work for us, so it’s a true story of commitment and testament to our citizen soldiers,” says Safstrom.

In addition to awards being given, the ceremony paid tribute to those receiving associate’s degrees from the Community College of the Air Force and the retiring members of the 148th.

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