Selfridge Airmen Earn Governor's 20 Honors

  • Published
  • By TSgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
Hours spent working together while off-duty brought rewards for nine Selfridge Airmen who recently won honors while competing at the annual Michigan Governor's 20, which brings together the top marksman from across the state's Army and Air National Guard.

Competing in the competition as part of the 127th Wing team from Selfridge Air National Guard Base, were: Senior Master Sgt. Michael Suwinski, Staff Sgt. Bradley Vermeesch, Master Sgt. Dan French, Staff Sgt. Matthew Brewer and Staff Sgt. Grant Kumfer from 127th Security Forces Squadron; and SMSgt. Craig Shepard, Technical Sgt. Doug Shippy, TSgt. Jamie Heinzelman and SSgt. JaVonn Stone, from 127th Communications Squadron. The competition was held Sept. 7-8 at Camp Grayling in northern Michigan.

Shippy and Suwinski each earned first places honors for an individual match. Shippy won the Combat Pistol Barricade match and Suwinski won the Transition Drill match. Suwinski, who is perhaps the most decorated marksman in Michigan Air National Guard history, was the top finisher in the overall standings from the Wing, earned fourth place. Suwinski is a past six-time overall winner.

Four Selfridge Airmen ranked among the Governor's 20: Suwinski, 4th; Veermesch, 5th; Shippy, 9th; and Shepard, 14th.

"The team's dedication to the warrior ethos, duty, outstanding professionalism, and exceptional job performance, contributed immeasurably to their success," said Shepard. "The team established a regular practice schedule of off-duty hours and meticulously prepared for the match."

Shepard praised Suwinski's leadership to the team, calling him a "mentor to all shooters."

"(Suwinski) is respected, appreciated, liked, and revered by all Wing members who stood on the competitive shooting line to compete against him," Shepard said.

While standing at the line in a marksmanship competition is an individual action, Shepard said the team's dedication to work together to prepare for the match and to represent the 127th Wing as a professional team brought about the positive results in the end.

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 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, which marked its 95th year of continuous military air operations in 2012.