Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - About 300 members of the Duluth 148th Fighter Wing are gearing up for deployment to Afghanistan later this summer.
This will be the first time that the 148th uses the Block 50 F-16 while deployed.
"This will be our first deployment to this AOR with our new jets," said Squadron Superintendent Chief David Daigle, "All of our people have been training for the past two years. So this is the ultimate opportunity to prove that training and how it pays off."
The unit will deploy to Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Their main task will be to support ground troops.
"We fly overhead and basically look over that next hill to see if there's anybody there about to engage them," said 179th Fighter Squadron Commander, Chris Blomquist, "So we're looking through our targeting pods and letting these guys know that there may be danger around that next corner,"
The unit has been training for about two years with the new Block 50 F-16 aircraft and say that they're ready for deployment.
"I'm feeling confident in our spin up and our new airframes," said Blomquist, "The guys are ready to go execute the mission over there."
Most of the 148th personnel will be deployed for about two months.