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A great 2015 story … all Selfridge Airmen returned safely from fighting ISIS

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There were many great stories about Detroit in 2015.  We want to remember one especially as the year rapidly comes to a close and once again thank our military for their service and sacrifice.

This year some 500 Airman left from the Selfridge Air National Guard Base this past spring and summer to fight ISIS in the Middle East. Counting training deployments the total reached 649. All of them returned safely home and it has been an especially happy holiday season for those families.

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This was the longest deployment of Selfridge airmen since the Korean War. According to local 127th Wing records, having some 500 airmen deployed from the 1,700-member Wing at a single time has not happened since that war ended in 1953.

Those sent overseas from Selfridge included 350 who flew or performed maintenance on A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft at Selfridge. The A-10 pilots sported 1,600 sorties and logged almost 11,000 combat flight hours. The A-10 is principally an air-to-ground attack aircraft and is affectionately called the Warthog.

An A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft starts engines at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., early on the morning of April 11, 2015, to travel overseas for a combat deployment. In addition to A-10 and KC-135 Stratotankers from Selfridge, some 500 Airmen were deployed at one time, throughout the summer months of 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Ryan Zeski)

An A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft starts engines at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., early on the morning of April 11, 2015, to travel overseas for a combat deployment. In addition to A-10 and KC-135 Stratotankers from Selfridge, some 500 Airmen were deployed at one time, throughout the summer months of 2015. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Ryan Zeski)

Smaller contingents of airmen from the KC-135 Stratotanker units were deployed for two- and three-months. The pilots of these air-to-air refueling craft logged 2,200 combat hours. That aircraft also can be configured to carry injured personnel or troops and cargo.

The majority of the Airmen returned home around the first of November. All of the Selfridge troops returned home safely by the time Thanksgiving rolled around.

Without a doubt, it was a happy holiday. We thank them for their service.

To read our earlier story please click here.

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