148th Deploys to Elmendorf Air Force Base
By Capt. Audra Flanagan , 148th Fighter Wing
/ Published May 15, 2008
03/21/2008 -- While approximately 50 personnel were returning from a 3-month long Pacific Air Force (PACAF) Air Sovereignty Alert mission at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii; another group of personnel were planning their next adventure in a very different place. The Air Force requested the 148th Fighter Wing by name to support North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Air Sovereignty Alert operations at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.
148th personnel supported NORAD missions in Alaska for almost six weeks. While deployed, members of the 148th were visited by Adjutant General, Major General Larry Shellito and Assistant Adjutant General, Brigadier General Tim Cossalter. Major General Shellito and Brigadier General Cossalter traveled to Alaska to thank 148th members for their continued service to the state and nation. "The 148th continues to impress not only the Air National Guard leadership, but leadership at all levels of the Air Force. The unselfish acceptance of additional missions and willingness to endure the hardship of being away from home has not gone unnoticed. The 148th "Bulldogs" established a benchmark for total force support to the Air Force." stated Brigadier General Cossalter.
The 148th was the first non-Alaskan or Canadian unit to support Alaska Command (ANR) alert. Additionally, the 148th was the first F-16 unit to intercept Russian bombers, also knows as "Bears". NORAD routinely intercepts, or visually identifies the Russian bombers and considers such flights training opportunities for its pilots.