148th Fighter Wing maintains StormReady certification

Members of the National Weather Service and 148th Fighter Wing pose for a photo during a ceremony June 16, 2016 at the 148th Fighter Wing.  The ceremony marked the 148th Fighter Wing's third StormReady certification, a nationwide program that helps communities better protect their citizens during severe weather. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Tech. Sgt. Scott G. Herrington)

Members of the National Weather Service and 148th Fighter Wing stand together for a photo during a ceremony June 16, 2016 at the 148th Fighter Wing. The ceremony marked the 148th Fighter Wing's third StormReady certification, a nationwide program that helps communities better protect their citizens during severe weather. (U.S. Air National Guard Photo by Tech. Sgt. Scott G. Herrington)

DULUTH, Minn. -- Dr. Louis W. Uccellini, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Assistant Administrator for Weather Services, and Director of the National Weather Service, presented the 148th Fighter Wing (148th FW) with a StormReady re-certification June 16, 2016 at a ceremony held in the 148th's fuel cell.

The 148th FW became the first Air National Guard (ANG) unit to achieve StormReady certification in 2010 as well as the first ANG unit to be re-certified in 2013.

StormReady is a nationwide program that enhances communities' ability to better protect their citizens during severe weather. StormReady encourages communities to take a proactive approach to improving local hazardous weather operations and lays out guidelines to improve their overall approach when encountering hazardous weather.

To become certified, communities must meet guidelines established by the National Weather Service in partnership with federal, state, and local emergency management professionals.

To attain StormReady community certification, the 148th FW performs hazardous weather and natural disaster exercises annually, trains personnel to become SKYWARN spotters for the National Weather Service and has established formal hazardous weather plans should there be a weather emergency.

"Today we received our third StormReady certification," said Senior Master Sgt. Kelvin McCuskey, 148th FW Installation Emergency Manager. "It's a huge deal for the military to be a part of this, we have a great partnership with the National Weather Service here in Duluth.  Every day that we fly, we're in communication with the weather service to make sure we understand any threats that might be coming up during the day--the weather can affect our mission here, so it's very important to have that communication channel and partnership."