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Military, Homeland Defense on display at Selfridge Open House

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Dan Heaton
  • 127th Wing Public Affairs
America's military and homeland defense forces will be on display during the free, two-day Selfridge Open House and Air Show, Sept. 6-7.

The Open House at Selfridge Air National Guard Base will feature dozens of military aircraft, armored vehicles, watercraft and related equipment, as well as an opportunity to meet many of the men and women who utilize that equipment in service to their state and nation. During the Open House more than 100 young Americans are scheduled to take an oath of enlistment to serve in either the U.S. Air Force or U.S. Navy.

"As a military installation with a variety of assigned missions, it is not always possible for us to welcome in our neighbors and fellow citizens to see our local operations," said Col. Philip Sheridan, an A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot who serves as the commander of the 127th Wing, the host unit at Selfridge. "The Open House provides us that opportunity. It is, quite simply, our way of saying 'thank you' to one of the most supportive local communities of any military base in the country."

The themes for the 2014 Open House are U.S. Armed Forces and Women in Aviation.

Visitor Information
The Selfridge Open House and Air Show features free admission and free parking. The base is located in Macomb County's Harrison Township. During the Open House, access to the base may be made by the North River Road (exit 237) or the 21 Mile Road (exit 241) exits of Interstate 94. The gates will open to the public on both days at 8 a.m. and will close once on-base parking reaches capacity, likely in the early afternoon. The Open House and Air Show will conclude about 4 p.m. both days. Visitors are strongly encouraged to arrive early to avoid traffic congestion typically experienced later in the day. Parking for disabled visitors will be available via both entrances.

In the immediate vicinity of the base, traffic and related Open House information, including the narration of the flying demonstrations, will be available via radio broadcast at 87.9 FM.

Food concessions will be available on the base during the Open House. The concessions will be operated on a cash-only basis and an automated teller machine will not be available during the Open House. Coolers, glass bottles, backpacks and cooking equipment are not allowed into the Open House area. Lawn chairs (chair bags should be left in car), strollers, fanny packs and small wagons are allowed.

Visitors are encouraged to bring cameras to the Open House, but equipment should be limited to that which is easily carried. Large camera bags will not be allowed in the Open House area. All items will be subject to search upon entering the base and/or Open House area.

While general admission and parking is free at the Open House, premium seating options being introduced for the 2014 event. Premium seating is available for $20 in advance or $25 at the Open House. Luxury Chalet seating, which includes a catered lunch, is available for $95 for adults, $50 for children in advance or $100 and $55 at the Open House. Information on the seating options is available at

New for 2014
Among the new features at the 2014 Open House will be a "Women in Aviation" booth, at which many of the pilots, maintainers and other female personnel who will be active in the Air Show portion of the Open House will make short presentations on their careers and answer questions from guests. In addition to the many civilian pilots who will be at the Open House, those making appearances at the booth will be members of the Blue Angels maintenance team; and maintenance Airmen, aircraft crew chiefs and pilots from the various squadrons of the Selfridge-based 127th Wing. A schedule of those who will appear at the booth, which will be in operation on Sept. 6 only, will be posted at the Open House grounds. The Selfridge Open House will feature one of the largest-ever gatherings of civilian aerial performers.

Two videos, created by the Michigan Air National Guard, will play in a continuous loop, explaining the mission, operations and capabilities of the two types of aircraft assigned to the 127th Wing at Selfridge, the A-10 Thunderbolt II and the KC-135 Stratotanker.

Accessible by a short bus ride during the Open House, will be tours of the Selfridge Military Air Museum, with more than 30 heritage aircraft and hundreds of other artifacts on display; and the STARBASE center at the base, which offers science, technology, engineering and mathematics education to area elementary school students.

2014 Open House Highlights
The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Team - known the world over as the Blue Angels - will be flying on both days of the Open House. The team is led by Commander Tom Frosch, a Macomb County native and 1988 graduate of Fraser High School. A veteran of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, Frosch will be flying the F/A-18 Hornet designated as "Blue Angel 1" during the Air Show portion of the Open House. The visit by the Blue Angels will mark their first appearance at Selfridge since the 2005 Open House.

Military aircraft currently scheduled to appear at the Open House, with more expected to be added later this summer, include Selfridge-based A-10 Thunderbolt IIs, KC-135 Stratotankers, CH-47 Chinooks and MH-65 Dolphins, along with B-52 Stratofortress, F-16 Fighting Falcons, T-6 Texans and T-38 Talons. Heritage military aircraft planned include the B-17 Flying Fortress, B-25 Mitchell and C-47 Skytrain, along with a MiG-17, a fighter aircraft used by the Soviet Union during the Vietnam War era. Ground displays will include U.S. Army and Marine Corps armored vehicles, Army robotics and various small arms weaponry.

Demonstrations during the Open House will include two performances each day by the USAF Drill Team. The 127th Maintenance Group will also demonstrate the loading process for weapons and munitions on an A-10 Thunderbolt II "Warthog."

During the Open House, a mass swearing-in ceremony for new military enlistees are planned. On Saturday afternoon, dozens of men and women will take the oath of enlistment for the U.S. Air Force or the U.S. Navy in a joint ceremony. In a separate ceremony, new enlistees in the Michigan Air National Guard will also be swearing in. In total, as many as 100 people are expected to swear in during ceremonies at the Open House for future service to state and nation in the U.S. Armed Forces. For those interested in learning more about the opportunities that exist in the U.S. Armed Forces, each branch of the military will have recruiting displays available, to detail careers in today's military - including service in the Michigan Air National Guard at Selfridge.

Social Media & The Open House
The use of social media has exploded since the 2011 Open House. There are several ways to follow along with the 2014 Open House and Air Show. The Open House is active on both Facebook and Twitter. You can follow both at and @SANGBOpenHouse During the days of the Open House, Michigan Airmen will be actively posting to both sources.

The 127th Wing at Selfridge is also active in social media. The Wing's popular YouTube page is The Wing can be found at and on Twitter @127Wing. The Michigan National Guard is also active at

Information on the Open House is available on the web at For news and photos of activities at Selfridge as a whole, visit Earlier this year, the 127th Wing's web site was named the best web site in the Air National Guard.

Open House Background
Military Open Houses and Air Shows have been held at Selfridge Air National Guard Base since 1922. Open Houses at the base are generally held about every-other year, as the Michigan Air National Guard's mission cycles allow. An Open House was last held at Selfridge in 2011. The next Open House is tentatively planned for 2017, which will mark the 100th anniversary of the creation of Selfridge as a military installation and the 70th anniversary of the creation of the U.S. Air Force as an independent military service branch.

As many as 75,000 people per day are expected to attend the Open House on the base. Thousands of additional spectators typically observe the Air Show portion of the Open House from backyard parties in the surrounding community and from boats on Lake St. Clair.

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, which marks its 97th year of continuous military air operations in 2014.

About Selfridge Air National Guard Base
Located on more than 3,600 acres along Lake St. Clair in Macomb County's Harrison Township, Selfridge Air National Guard Base is among the most diverse Air National Guard facilities in the nation. The base houses units of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection. Selfridge is the primary training site for more than 3,000 uniformed members of the military Reserve and National Guard components.