New Munitions Storage Facility Opens

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  • By 127th Public Affairs
The 127th Maintenance Group celebrated its new munitions facilities complex with a ribbon cutting ceremony held here today.

The Maintenance Group is the largest group of the Michigan Air National Guard's 127th Wing with approximately 550 Airmen and provides mission-capable A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, properly configured to meet the wing's fighter mission. The 127th Maintenance Squadron (MXS) Munitions unit, commonly known as Ammo, is responsible for providing the variety of munitions the A-10 can be loaded with for employment.

The new $8.5 million ammunitions facility was designed by Atkins Architectural Assoc., Hanson Professional Services, and built by Butcher & Butcher Construction.  The project is a product of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure commission's decision to convert the 127th Wing from F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft to the A-10. The conversion more than doubled the munitions manning required to support the new mission.

Lt. Col. Rolf Mammen, 127th Maintenance Group Commander explained at the ceremony, "Although the F-16 dropped bombs, the sheer volume of munitions that the A-10 is capable of employing, along with the age of the existing munitions facilities, made the old facilities obsolete."  

The A-10 can employ a wide variety of conventional munitions, including general purpose bombs, cluster bomb units, laser guided bombs, joint direct attack munitions or JDAM, wind corrected munitions dispenser or WCMD, AGM-65 Maverick and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, rockets, illumination flares, and the GAU-8/A 30mm cannon, capable of firing 3,900 rounds per minute to defeat a wide variety of targets including tanks.

U.S. Representative Candice Miller, among the dignitaries at the event, addressed the almost $85 million in military construction projects at Selfridge since about 2000.  "We all know there have been threats to the future of this base over the years and it's taken our working together for not only keeping the flying missions here and the base open, but also these continuous base improvements as the nation invests in the important work you do."

Working together is a common theme for Team Selfridge, the Congresswoman highlighted, mentioning the joint nature of the base which includes multiple DoD and DHS partners. The munitions storage facility will also hold munitions for local branches of the FBI, DHS, ATF, Customs and Border Protection, and local police departments for munitions seizure storage, as needed.

The state-of -the-art facilities include numerous energy efficient systems including a geothermal heating and cooling system which is expected to decrease heating and cooling energy costs by 50 percent or more. Base engineers also discovered the existence of methane gas underground during the construction process, which is still being analyzed as a possible renewable energy source for the installation.

Comprised of approximately 1,600 personnel and flying both the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the KC-135 Stratotanker, the 127th Wing supports Air Mobility Command, Air Combat Command and Air Force Special Operations Command by providing highly-skilled Airmen to missions domestically and overseas. The 127th Wing is the host unit at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, which is also home to units of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection.