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Warthog aircraft to stay at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, nearly 500 jobs impacted

a-10

The Warthog has been saved. If you didn’t know the animal as in danger, don’t worry. I was talking about the A-10 Thunderbolt II.

The A-10 or Warthog is an aircraft, specifically an air-to-ground attack platform.

US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has said the Warthog will stay in the Air Force inventory until at least 2022. That’s good news for the 127th Wing of the Michigan Air National Guard at the Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Macomb County since they have 21 A-10s assigned to them.  About 180 full-time jobs and 300 part-time jobs are directly related to working on A-10 operations.

A year ago the U.S. Air Force announced plans to retiree its fleet of A-10 jets beginning in 2016.

“With this announcement by the secretary of defense we have every expectation that the A-10s will remain at Selfridge,” says Maj. Gen. Greg Vadnais, adjutant general for the Michigan National Guard. “I couldn’t be happier to continue to showcase the men and women of Michigan Air National Guard.”

The decision gives the 127th Wing and its Airmen more stability, while allowing the Michigan Air National Guard to strategically plan for a potential future in the F-35, according to Brig. Gen. Leonard Isabelle, commander of the Michigan Air National Guard.

F-35

F-35

The Selfridge A-10s played an important role in the war on ISIL in 2015. About 540 A-10 pilots, maintainers, weapons loaders and other support personnel were deployed to Syria from Selfridge. In the flights over and around Syria last year the pilots flew more in those 6 months then in three years of training operations.

The units aligned with the A-10 at Selfridge include the 107th Fighter Squadron – one of the original 26 flying squadrons in the U.S. National Guard – the 127th Maintenance Squadron and 127th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. The 107th Squadron, known as the “Red Devils” began as an observation squadron in 1926 and has been flying fighter-type aircraft since before the Korean War. Since 2001, the squadron and its supporting units have completed six combat deployments, including two since it began flying the A-10 in 2008.

“Our duty has always been to fly and maintain the aircraft and the missions assigned to us here at Selfridge,” said Brig. Gen. John D. Slocum, commander of the Selfridge-based 127th Wing. “The A-10 has not only been a proven warfighter for America, but our A-10 or Warthog have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt the incredible skill and dedication they bring to the fight.”

The A-10 Warthog has a deep and long connection with Selfridge Air Force base, and its continued use will surely secure Michigan’s role in defending America.

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