100 airmen deploy from Selfridge Air National Guard Base to Southwest Asia

A crew chief salutes as a KC-135 Stratotanker departs Selfridge Air National Guard Base for a deployment to Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Dan Heaton)

Approximately 100 citizen-airmen of the Michigan Air National Guard are now on duty in Southwest Asia.

The Airmen - all members of the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base - departed from Selfridge Dec. 12 and are now on duty in the U.S. Central Command region in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel and other contingencies. The Selfridge Airmen will be deployed overseas into early 2017, including over the Christmas holiday season.

"Once again, our Airmen have stepped forward and answered the call," said Brig. Gen. John D. Slocum, 127th Wing Commander. "From our youngest Airman to our most experienced, one quality shines through - their commitment to serving our great country."

The deployed Airmen are members of the wing's 127th Air Refueling Group, which includes the 171st Air Refueling Squadron and 191st Maintenance Squadron. The group operates the KC-135 Stratotanker, which is used primarily for air-to-air refueling operations.

The 127th Air Refueling Group Airmen are no strangers to deployment. In the past year, airmen from the group have performed short-term deployments in the European, Pacific and Central Command areas of operations.