148th Fighter Wing Taking Off for Night Flying Missions

They fly these missions in the dark to stay ready to defend the homeland.

DULUTH, Minn. – The 148th Fighter Wing has been flying high over the Northland this month at night as part of a special training mission.

They fly these missions in the dark to stay ready to defend the homeland.

Fox 21 got a look behind the scenes of what it takes to fly one of these missions.

For nearly two weeks, the 148th has been flying night missions over the area to practice the different skill sets required to fly after dark.

National Guard members just want to make sure they are respectful to their community.

“We like to go up 25% of our flying we haven’t been doing that much because we want to reduce the impact on our neighbors We do a lot of our flying during the wintertime ops because it gets darker sooner so that we are not keeping people up late with the noise,” says Scott PRom, the 148th Operations Support Squadron Commander.

It’s a team effort over at the 148th getting the pilots ready for flight.

There is a whole slew of aircrew members getting the gear ready.

“We make sure that these are all life-saving appliances to make sure that that pilot is 100% mission capable and also the safest that he can be to fly,” says Richard Hennes, a Master Sergeant in the Air Crew Flight Equipment Officer of the 148th.

Squadron Commander Scott Brom showed off the special night-vision goggles and described the ways flying at night is different.

“We have different censors that help us look into the night specifically our targeting pod that can practice using heat sources and using less light in the cockpit,” says Brom.

The unpredictable weather in Duluth allows pilots and crew to practice in all different types of environments to make sure they are ready to answer the call to protect and serve.

“There is some validity to having bad nights to go out and fly so they are exposed to that and are current and trained in instances when we don’t have a choice when we can launch in a wartime or peacetime operation,” says Brom.

He also makes the point that the 148th is not just an air guard base up by the Duluth International Airport, but that it’s made up of mean and women who live, work and have strong roots in the community they serve.

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