A-10, KC-135, Coast Guard helicopter top Selfridge aircraft lists

  • Published
  • By TSgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
And the winner is... an orange U.S. Coast Guard helicopter.

Three lists of aircraft have recently been added to the 127th Wing's web site. The lists feature the 94 different military aircraft that have been assigned to Selfridge Air National Guard Base since it opened in 1917 as Selfridge Field; the 54 different aircraft that have been assigned to the Michigan Air National Guard since its forerunner organizations were created in 1926; and the 33 aircraft and one ¾ scale replica aircraft on permanent display at the Selfridge Military Air Museum's Air Park at the base.

According to the lists, the HH-65 Dolphin, a helicopter assigned to Coast Guard Air Station Detroit at Selfridge continuously since 1988, holds the record for the longest tenure of any one aircraft type at the air base. Currently, five HH-65s are assigned to the air station, which provides search and rescue coverage, among other missions, to the eastern half of the Great Lakes system.

List of aircraft assigned to Selfridge, 1917-2014

The longest-tenured U.S. Air Force aircraft at the base is the KC-135 Stratotanker, an aerial refueling platform that was first assigned to Selfridge in 1992 and has been at the base ever since. The KC-135 was first assigned to the 63rd Air Refueling Squadron, 927th Air Refueling Wing, of the Air Force Reserve at Selfridge. In 2007, the aircraft was assigned to the 171st ARS, 127th Wing of the Michigan Air National Guard at the base. The 63rd / 927th were then re-located to MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

Other long-tenured aircraft at Selfridge include the C-130 Hercules, 1986-2007, and the F-16 Fighting Falcon, 1990-2009. Both the C-130 and the F-16 were operated by more than one different unit over the course of their assignment at Selfridge.

List of aircraft assigned to the Michigan Air National Guard, 1927-2014

The A-10 Thunderbolt II, better known as the Warthog, is the longest-assigned aircraft for the Michigan Air National Guard as a whole. From 1990 to 2008, the A-10 was flown by the 172nd Fighter Squadron (now Air Support Squadron) at the Battle Creek Air National Guard Base. Since 2008, the A-10 has been flown by the 107th Fighter Squadron at Selfridge.

The list shows five different types of aircraft were assigned to Selfridge in 1917, when operations began: Breguet 14; DH-4; Sopwith Camel; Sopwith FE-2; and SPAD VII. Of those initial aircraft assigned, only the DeHavilland DH-4, a British-designed two-seater, remained at the base past 1918. The DH-4s, which were built by numerous different manufacturers in both the United Kingdom and the U.S., remained on duty at Selfridge until 1931. They were completely phased out of the U.S. Army inventory in 1932.

The first jet aircraft assigned to Selfridge was the P-80 Shooting Star, in 1947.

Though the 107th Observation Squadron (today's 107th Fighter Squadron) was officially recognized in 1926 - an earlier iteration of the squadron was in operation during World War I - it was not officially assigned any aircraft until 1927. The first aircraft assigned to the unit, and therefore to the Michigan National Guard as a whole, were the PT-1 Trusty, a "primary trainer," and the JN-6 Jenny, which was also used primarily as a trainer. The PT-1 stuck with the unit until 1933. It is unclear when the unit stopped flying the Jenny, but that aircraft probably did not make it out of the 1920s. In 1931, the unit was assigned the BT-1 and the O-2, variants of essentially the same aircraft, as well as the O-38, all of which were biplanes used for observation missions.

The first jet-powered aircraft assigned to the Michigan Air National Guard was the F-84 Thunderjet in 1950.

List ofaircraft on display at the Selfridge Military Air Museum Air Park

More than 2,000 Citizen-Airmen serve in the Michigan Air National Guard. The MI-ANG operates the 127th Wing, which flies the KC-135 Stratotanker and A-10 Thunderbolt II, at Selfridge Air National Guard Base near Detroit; and the 110th Attack Wing, which operates a Remotely-Piloted Aircraft mission, at Battle Creek Air National Guard Base. The MI-ANG also operates two training sites in northern Michigan: the 147,000-acre Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, one of four such facilities in the nation; and the Grayling Air Gunnery Range.