148th Members Return from Joint Base Balad, Iraq
By Maj. Audra Flanagan, 148FW
/ Published January 21, 2009
Duluth, Minn. --
Families, friends, cold temperatures and a whole lot of snow greeted the first wave of 148th Fighter Wing members returning from their recent Air Expeditionary Force deployment to Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
Approximately 60 airmen returned on Wednesday after serving 45 to 120 days at Balad. The 148th Fighter Wing was the sole provider of Theater Airborne Reconnaissance System (TARS) support to Central Command Leadership since September. 148th F-16s were equipped with TARS pods which hold a sophisticated photographic system that can take high resolution photos at soaring attitudes. These photos are used by Central Command to achieve their tactical objectives. In late-November, the 148th deployed a larger group of personnel and aircraft to also provide Close Air Support for ground forces in Iraq. This was the Wing's third deployment to Joint Base Balad since 2005.