Selfridge Airmen Continue to Support Deployments

  • Published
  • By TSgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
Afghanistan, Germany and a small island in the Indian Ocean.

In groups larger and small, members of the Michigan Air National Guard continue to deploy to locations around the world.

"Sometimes, we send out a large group and that garners a lot of attention, but there is almost never a time when at least a few dozen of our people aren't deployed somewhere, doing the nation's business," said Col. Philip Sheridan, vice command of the nearly 1,700-member 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

As of mid-March, 127th Wing officials said about 100 members of the Selfridge-based wing were either on a deployment or were away from home station on the two weeks of active duty that most members of the Air National Guard serve every year. Included in the total is about a dozen Airmen who are on duty in Afghanistan. Another dozen or so Michigan Airmen are in neighboring countries providing support to operations in Afghanistan.

Air National Guard members are also called periodically to operations inside the U.S. About two dozen of the 127th Medical Group are spending part of March in Hawaii, supporting Operation Tropic Care, which provides medical support services to some rural and remote parts of the Hawaiian Islands while providing a training opportunity for military medical technicians.

This summer, more than 100 members of the 127th Wing are expected to travel to Estonia for two weeks to participate in joint exercises with that nation's military.

"The way the Air Force's structure is set up, we have the ability to deploy as individuals to fill a need; to deploy as a large-scale group, as our fighter group recently; up to deploying the entire wing, if needed," Sheridan said. "The motto of the 127th Wing is 'We Stand Ready.' We take those words very seriously."

Sheridan said he forecasts the ongoing need for Citizen-Airmen to forward-deploy well into the foreseeable future. It is a pattern, he said, that has existed at least since Sept. 11, 2001, when the nation's defense posture changed as a result of that day's terrorism attacks.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, the 127th Wing at Selfridge has deployed about 4,200 individuals. With less than 1,700 Airmen in the wing, that works out to an average of 2.5 deployments per individual over the last 10 years or so.

With approximately 1,700 Airmen assigned, the 127th Wing of the Michigan Air National Guard is the host organization at Selfridge, flying the KC-135 Stratotanker, an aerial refueler, and the A-10 Thunderbolt II, also known as the Warthog, which is an air-to-ground attack fighter. The Airmen at Selfridge support the Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command and the Air Force Special Operations Command. to In addition to the 127th Wing, Selfridge is home to numerous other military and federal agencies, which fly a variety of helicopters and small, light fixed-wing aircraft.

More information on the 127th Wing and Selfridge Air National Guard Base is available at www.127wg.ang.af.mil.