Defense Cuts To Hit Duluth Fighter Wing
As the Defense Department makes cuts across the nation, it appears an impact could be felt right here in our backyard. Do you know of anyone in the position that appears targeted for elimination?
Defense Department budget cuts could result in job losses at Duluth’s 148th Fighter Wing of the Minnesota Air National Guard.
A proposed mission change could cost the unit 71 of approximately 450 full-time jobs it now provides, according to Major Audra Flanagan. That’s roughly a 15 percent reduction in current full-time staffing at the Duluth base.
The base is on call around-the-clock, prepared to scramble and inter-
cept any air threats, including hijacked aircraft. The North American Aerospace Defense Command, often called NORAD for short, operates 18 such 24-hour response stations, including 16 in the continental United States, one in Alaska and another in Hawaii.
“The fiscal year 2013 Defense Budget mandated the elimination of the 24-hour alert commitment at two NORAD alert sites,” NORAD said in a statement in response to News Tribune requests for information.
“Based on the guidance, NORAD conducted analysis to determine which two sites had the least risk associated with their closure. The two sites selected were Duluth, Minn., and Langley, Va.”