Duluth Air National Guard unit to welcome new F-16sby Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
Duluth, Minn. — A celebration is scheduled for this afternoon to welcome a group of new F-16 fighter jets to the Duluth Air National Guard base.
The 148th Fighter Wing of the Minnesota Air National Guard will be the new home for 20 F-16 Block 50 aircraft that are being transferred from Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany.
According to the National Guard, Block 50 aircraft has a more powerful engine and has more computer capacity for future upgrades.
Several public officials will attend the event, including Duluth Mayor Don Ness.
Not all 20 jets have been transferred yet, but the celebration will mark the first wave of arrivals.
The 148th Fighter Wing, which had been using F-16 Block 25 aircraft, will convert to all Block 50s within the next 18 to 24 months.
Guard officials say the Duluth unit is the first National Guard unit to start using the Block 50s.