Minnesota Air Guardsmen Conduct Live-Fire Training

Members of the Minnesota Air National Guard’s 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth are at Tyndall AFB, Fla., with their recently acquired F-16 Block 50 aircraft for two weeks of rigorous air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions training. Tyndall’s 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group sponsors these activities. “We came here to shoot missiles and drop live ordnance to be better prepared for our air sovereignty alert mission,” said Lt. Col. Reed Bowman, 148th FW Block 50 conversion officer. He added, “The training we receive here gives us confidence in our jets’ ability to perform.” The wing supports the Continental NORAD Region in protecting American skies from air threats. Last April, it began receiving its first F-16 Block 50 airframes. Fitted with more powerful engines and different internal avionics, they are more capable than the F-16 Block 25 airplanes they are replacing. (Tyndall report by Angela Pope)