Goodbye snow; hello Snowbird Published Jan. 23, 2015 By 127th Wing Public Affairs SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. -- About 200 Airmen and 10 aircraft from the 127th Wing deployed to Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., on Friday, Jan. 23, to Operation Snowbird. The men and women from various units of the 127th Wing support, operate and maintain the A-10 Thunderbolt II mission. Operation Snowbird allows military flying units to take advantage of the optimal weather conditions and live-fire ranges available in southern Arizona during the winter months, when home station training may be hampered by snow and ice. By deploying to the Air Force Base in Arizona, Selfridge Airmen also have an opportunity to train and work together in a high-tempo environment. The 107th Fighter Squadron will have more opportunities for sorties during the two week deployment, almost doubling the number of flights performed each day at Selfridge. The Michigan Air National Guard unit's focus will be on search and recovery training with local rescue squadrons stationed at Davis-Monthan. "Training at Davis-Monthan in Snowbird is like a srimmage before playing in the big game. Everybody gets a chance to sharpen their skills and build up the team," Lt. Col. Shawn Holtz, 107th Fighter Squadron commander. The A-10, originally designed for close air support, provides an ideal platform to provide support to rescue operations in potential close proximity to opposition ground forces. The A-10 can also provide airborne command and control support to rescue operations, as well as serve in air interdiction and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capacities. About the 127th Wing Comprised of approximately 1,700 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 Operation Command by providing highly-skilled Airmen to missions domestically and overseas. The 127th Wing is the host unit at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, the most diverse and expansive cooperative government facility operation in the country.