Hundreds of Michigan airmen return home after deployment


SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. – Approximately 500 Airmen from Selfridge Air National Guard Base are returning home after one of the busiest summers in the history of the Michigan Air National Guard.

Airmen of the 127th Wing have been filtering home over the past several weeks. Most of the Airmen and aircraft spent six months in Southwest Asia, fighting against ISIS in Operation Inherent Resolve and undergoing other missions.

"Our Airmen and their families have been fully engaged," said Brig. Gen. John D. Slocum, commander of the 127th Wing at Selfridge. "It is with great gratitude and respect for a job well done that we welcome them home."

The largest group of Airmen, about 350, were from the units that fly and operate the A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft at Selfridge. Most of these Airmen were deployed for six months, the longest mass deployment of Selfridge Airmen since the Korean War.

A-10 pilots and support crews sported more than 1,600 sorties, logging more than 11,000 combined hours of combat flight time. The A-10 is principally an air-to-ground attack aircraft; it is popularly known as the Warthog.

Smaller contingents of Airmen from the KC-135 Stratotanker units at Selfridge deployed for two- and three-month periods, flying some 300-plus missions, logging almost 2,200 combat flight hours. They completed their deployments earlier this month.

According to local 127th Wing records, having 500 Airmen deployed from the 1,700-member Wing at a single time has not happened since the Korean War ended in 1953.

"Many of our Airmen are now enjoying a hard-earned period of rest and recovery," Slocum said. "I cannot emphasize enough how proud I am of each one of them."

A final group of approximately 50 Airmen will complete the deployment returning home by the end of the month.