Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar is urging the Air Force to assign active duty personnel to the Duluth Air National Guard Base.
Klobuchar on Friday traveled to Duluth where she wants the 148th Fighter Wing to be designated an "active association" wing. That would allow active duty airmen to work and train side-by-side with National Guard personnel.
The move would cut costs by using existing infrastructure to support active duty Air Force members, Klobuchar said.
It would also guarantee an ongoing mission for the 148th, which could help ensure its survival as the Department of Defense looks at closing bases. And the designation would boost the regional economy, Klobuchar said.
"The influx of 40 to 60 or even more active duty members would bring more consumers and more businesses," Klobuchar said. "More jobs and more growth for Duluth."
The Air Force has two other active association National Guard bases in Vermont and South Carolina. Klobuchar hopes the Air Force will decide within the next year to make the 148th Fighter Wing the third site.