HARRISON TOWNSHIP (WWJ) – About 300 Airmen of the Michigan Air National Guard will report to active duty in September for deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The group of 127th Wing Airmen from Selfridge Air National Guard Base will include pilots, crew members, maintenance technicians and support personnel who are slated to serve four to six month tours of duty in Afghanistan.
The Selfridge Airmen will be part of a unit flying the A-10 Thunderbolt II, an air-to-ground attack aircraft, perhaps better known as the “Warthog.”
While the September deployment is the largest single movement of personnel for the Air National Guard at Selfridge in several years, more than 200 Airmen from the base have been deployed so far this year alone.
The 127th Wing’s fleet of A-10s and the Airmen who operate them were only recently designated operationally capable in June. The unit had originally been scheduled for deployment in spring 2012, but that timetable was moved up over the summer.
A large percentage of those deploying are traditional status guardsmen, meaning they still have jobs in the local community, but volunteer their time and service in support of the nation’s Air Force, when called.
This tasking marks the first deployment of the 107th Fighter Squadron, nicknamed the “Red Devils,” with the A-10 Thunderbolt II weapon system. For more than a decade, the 107th FS has been tasked routinely in support of overseas contingencies.
The 107th FS is one of the oldest flying units in the Air Force, tracing its history back to the World War I era. In all, since September 11, 2001, the 127th Wing has supported deployment taskings with roughly 3,800 personnel.
For more information on the 127th Wing and Selfridge Air National Guard Base, visit www.127wg.ang.af.mil.