One hundred airmen from the 127th wing of the Michigan Air National Guard at Selfridge Air National Base won’t be home for the holidays. Instead, they will spend them in Southeast Asia.
They are now on duty in the U.S. Central Command region in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and other contingencies. They’ll be back home in early 2017.
“Once again, our Airmen have stepped forward and answered the call,” says 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.
This has been a busy year for those at Selfridge. They have seen this year alone deployments in the European, Pacific and Central Command areas of operations, all of which have been short term.
They have also had longer-term deployments.
At the end of last year, more than 500 Airmen from the 127th Wing of the Michigan National Guard returned home from Southwest Asia after spending six months or more fighting to eliminate ISIL as part of Operation Inherent Resolve and other missions. It was the longest deployment of Selfridge airmen since the Korean War. According to local 127th Wing records, having 500 airmen deployed from the 1,700-member Wing at a single time had not happened since that war ended in 1953.
Regardless of how long a deployment lasts it is hard on the airmen and their families. They leave their children, families and friends, and this time will miss celebrating the holidays with them.
Our military is far from home as we get to sleep in ours and get ready for our holidays. Thank you once again for your service and sacrifice.