148th Fighter Wing Hosts Deployment Ceremony

202 members of the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. stand in formation during a deployment ceremony in Duluth, Minn. Nov. 2, 2008.  Approximately 300 148th Fighter Wing members will deploy overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operation Enduring Freedom between Sept 2008 and Jan 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by SSgt Donald L. Acton) (Released)

202 members of the 148th Fighter Wing, Duluth, Minn. stand in formation during a deployment ceremony in Duluth, Minn. Nov. 2, 2008. Approximately 300 148th Fighter Wing members will deploy overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operation Enduring Freedom between Sept 2008 and Jan 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by SSgt Donald L. Acton) (Released)

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty speaks during a deployment ceremony for the 148th Fighter Wing based in Duluth, Minn. at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center Nov. 2, 2008.  Approximately 300 148th Fighter Wing members will deploy overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operation Enduring Freedom between Sept 2008 and Jan 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by SSgt Donald L. Acton) (Released)

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty speaks during a deployment ceremony for the 148th Fighter Wing based in Duluth, Minn. at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center Nov. 2, 2008. Approximately 300 148th Fighter Wing members will deploy overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operation Enduring Freedom between Sept 2008 and Jan 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by SSgt Donald L. Acton) (Released)

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard, speaks during a deployment ceremony for the 148th Fighter Wing based in Duluth, Minn. at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center Nov. 2, 2008.  Approximately 300 148th Fighter Wing members will deploy overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operation Enduring Freedom between Sept 2008 and Jan 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by SSgt Donald L. Acton) (Released)

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard, speaks during a deployment ceremony for the 148th Fighter Wing based in Duluth, Minn. at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center Nov. 2, 2008. Approximately 300 148th Fighter Wing members will deploy overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operation Enduring Freedom between Sept 2008 and Jan 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by SSgt Donald L. Acton) (Released)

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard, hands the 148th Fighter Wing's flag to U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Chandler, 148th Fighter Wing pilot, signifying a change in command for the deploying airmen of the wing during a deployment ceremony in Duluth, Minn. Nov. 2, 2008.  Approximately 300 148th Fighter Wing members will deploy overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operation Enduring Freedom between Sept 2008 and Jan 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by TSgt Amie Dahl) (Released)

U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard, hands the 148th Fighter Wing's flag to U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Chandler, 148th Fighter Wing pilot, signifying a change in command for the deploying airmen of the wing during a deployment ceremony in Duluth, Minn. Nov. 2, 2008. Approximately 300 148th Fighter Wing members will deploy overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operation Enduring Freedom between Sept 2008 and Jan 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by TSgt Amie Dahl) (Released)

The 148th Fighter Wing Honor Guard posts the colors during a deployment ceremony in Duluth, Minn. Nov. 2, 2008.  Approximately 300 148th Fighter Wing members will deploy overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operation Enduring Freedom between Sept 2008 and Jan 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by TSgt Amie Dahl) (Released)

The 148th Fighter Wing Honor Guard posts the colors during a deployment ceremony in Duluth, Minn. Nov. 2, 2008. Approximately 300 148th Fighter Wing members will deploy overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operation Enduring Freedom between Sept 2008 and Jan 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo by TSgt Amie Dahl) (Released)

Duluth, Minn. -- Governor Tim Pawlenty, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Adjutant General - Maj. Gen. Larry W. Shellito and Mayor Don Ness joined family and friends in a 148th Fighter Wing Departure Ceremony on Sunday, November 2nd, 2008 at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center.

The 148th is ending 2008 with large deployments in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom. In all, the Wing will have deployed approximately 300 personnel to a variety of locations in Southwest Asia between September 2008 and February 2009. The majority of personnel will be deployed to Balad Air Base, Iraq where they will provide Close Air Support and Reconnaissance in support Central Command (CENTCOM) operations.

The 148th also has Civil Engineers, Fire Fighters, Services personnel, Personnel Specialists and Logistics personnel deployed to multiple locations.

The deployment ceremony featured children of 148th members singing Lee Greenwood's God Bless the USA, a traditional change of command ceremony and speeches by elected officials.