Klobuchar supports funding for 148th modernization to help bring F-35s to Duluth
DULUTH, MN -- U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar visited Duluth’s 148th Fighter Wing Tuesday, pledging her support to help the base modernize its facilities so it can one day house F-35s.
148th and community leaders have spent years lobbying the federal government to assign those aircraft to their base.
But lawmakers say the 148th base needs modifications first.
During Tuesday’s tour, Klobuchar said, along with a greater federal investment in the Air Force budget, she says the 148th needs to upgrade its hangars before it can house F-35s.
Klobuchar says Governor Tim Walz’s office hopes to include funding for that in the state’s next bonding bill.
She too pledged her support to the 148th.
“Getting these planes is a long process. You’ve got to prove your worth,” Klobuchar said. “I know that our entire country and really the world and the world’s democracy are safer when we have our Air National Guard in possession of the best aircraft possible.”
Klobuchar says there was actually a provision in the recent defense authorization act that would have made it much harder for the 148th to get F-35s.
However, she and a group of fellow U.S. senators helped remove that clause before it was signed into law.
148th leaders say they’re a prime candidate for F-35′s, pointing to their successes, access to premium airspace, and highly-trained personnel.
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