Selfridge Airmen to Return From Afghanistan

  • Published
  • By TSgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
Roughly two dozen Citizen-Airmen from Selfridge Air National Guard Base are arriving home in early September after six months of duty in Afghanistan.

The returning Airmen are members of the 127th Civil Engineering Squadron of the Michigan Air National Guard. In addition to their duty in Afghanistan, these Airmen underwent specialized training prior to their deployment, requiring them to be away from home for a total of approximately seven months. During their deployment, one Airman watched the birth of his new child via a video link. Another Airman watched her son graduate from high school during her deployment.

"These Airmen represent communities across Michigan. Their service rightfully brings honor and pride to all of us. We are anxious to say 'welcome home,'" said Col. Michael Thomas, commander, 127th Wing at Selfridge.

While deployed, the group, made up primarily of Airmen who work in construction-related fields, worked as part of the 877th Expeditionary Prime BEEF Squadron and helped plan and design Shindand Air Base in Afghanistan, the first air base in that nation dedicated to the training of Afghan pilots. At the Kunduz Heliport, they also helped to build the largest airfield in U.S. Air Force history to be created using AM2 mat, which creates a temporary runway and taxiway surface in lieu of concrete.

In total, the Selfridge Airmen completed 94 construction projects with a total value of $42.7 million.

More than 200 Citizen-Airmen from the Michigan Air National Guard at Selfridge have been forward deployed so far in 2011. Airmen from Selfridge been assigned to duties in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guam, Honduras and numerous other countries, as well as to locations in the United States.

"As members of the Air National Guard, we present a wide range of capabilities to our nation," Thomas said. "We are able to deploy when needed and then return home and return to being a part of our local communities."

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. In addition to the Wing, Selfridge is home to numerous other military and federal agencies, which fly a variety of helicopters and small, light fixed-wing aircraft.

A Prime BEEF (Base Engineer Emergency Force) team provides a full range of engineering support required to establish, operate and maintain garrison and contingency air bases.

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