Air National Guard is Front Stage at Duluth Air Show
By TSgt Jason W. Rolfe, 148th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 15, 2008
07/15/08 -- Major John Klatt usually flies an F-16 Fighting Falcon with the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth, Minn. But when the air show comes to town, look to the skies and you may see him inverted in a Staudacher S-300 aerobatic plane.
Major Klatt performs for the Air National Guard at air shows around the county. He offers over ten minutes of hard core, high energy, unlimited aerobatics reaching speeds of 250 miles per hour. He is especially excited about performing in his home town this weekend.
John Klatt and the Guarding America, Defending Freedom Aerobatic team visits about 20 air shows throughout the year to promote the Air National Guard along side local recruiters. Besides the aerobatic aircraft, this dynamic recruiting team brings with them a mobile recruiting unit consisting of a motor home and a large trailer that houses a flight simulator. The mission of the team is to inform, educate and excite the public about the Air National Guard.
Master Sergeant Lisa Erikson, 148th Fighter Wing Recruiter, says "It gives us state-of-the-art technology, right there up-close and personal, to show applicants what the Air National Guard has to offer. It provides a high visibility area that allows recruiters to bring applicants in and really talk with them."
The bright red, white and blue ANG plane spinning through the air and piloted by one of America's top aerobatic pilots is an exciting event for spectators. But John Klatt enjoys a different part of the air shows too. "The most exciting part for me, is when a young kid comes up and says you know, I want to do what you do, I want to be a part of the Guard, that's encouraging for me to say...I'm getting to make a difference and touch that one life this weekend is pretty special for me."
The Duluth Air Show runs this weekend July 19th and 20th, 2008.