The Air Combat Command F-22 Demonstration Team will show off the capabilities and limits of the Lockheed Martin F-22 fighter jet at the Selfridge Open House and Air Show July 9-10.

The Air Combat Command F-22 Demonstration Team will show off the capabilities and limits of the Lockheed Martin F-22 fighter jet at the Selfridge Open House and Air Show July 9-10.

Photo provided by Penelope Carroll/Michigan Air National Guard

Selfridge air show showcases past, future of military aviation

By: Dean Vaglia | C&G Newspapers | Published June 29, 2022


METRO DETROIT — The skies above Lake St. Clair will once again roar with the sounds of jet engines this July as Selfridge Air National Guard Base hosts its air show and open house.

Taking place on-site at the Harrison Township-based airfield, the Selfridge Open House Air Show will feature aircraft and ground vehicles from American military history as the base celebrates its 105th year of operation.

“The theme for this year is ‘The Next 100 Years,’” said Maj. Mark Vaught, director of the air show. “We are looking forward to how the military is progressing in technology, in service members and just the way we do business. Our No. 1 mission in the National Guard is to organize, train and equip, and when the public comes out, we will be able to display that and show them how we are moving toward the next generation.”

The focus on history is reflected in the aircraft lineup. Some of Selfridge’s active A-10C Thunderbolt IIs and KC-135T Stratotankers will show off what modern day Air Force pilots do, while World War II-era propeller aircraft like the P-51D Mustang, B-25 Mitchell and B-17 Flying Fortress, as well as Korean War and Vietnam-era jets, including the A-4 Skyhawk, F-100D Super Sabre and T-33 Shooting Star, demonstrate historic aviation in action.

As for the future of aviation, the F-22 Raptor and its Virginia-based demonstration team will show off the fifth-generation stealth fighter’s capabilities.

“They will be displaying everything from its capabilities and how it maintains air superiority, and you’ll get a really, really good show,” Vaught said.

All the branches that call Selfridge Air National Guard Base home will bring something to the table. Helicopters from the Army and Coast Guard will take flight, along with several carrier-capable aircraft like the A-4 and the A-1 Skyraider. Two skydiving teams, the Misty Blues Jump Team and a set of World War II paratrooper reenactors, will land at Selfridge, as well.

But the attractions are not restricted only to things that fly.

“We are going to have a great layout of Army ground vehicles,” said Chief Master Sgt. Jeff Yelencich, who manages the ground aspect of the show. “We are going to have a lot of tents from different sponsors and veterans’ organizations.”

Vehicles from Michigan Air and Army National Guard units will be on static display, along with several planes — some even with cockpits open for guests to sit in. Those who would like a taste of the in-air action can try out an F/A-18 Hornet simulator, and guests can check out the STEM Hangar to find out more about the science, technology, engineering and math behind the military’s aircraft.

“We have one hanger that is going to be dedicated to STEM,” Yelencich said. “It is going to be set up right off of our static displays area and it is broken down to a bunch of different booths providing STEM-related education and opportunities.”

Various groups and organizations will have representatives and displays in the STEM hangar. Some of the groups represented include Ford Motor Co. Robotics and the Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum, the latter of which will bring one of the planes used for their ages 14-19 flight academy, based at Detroit’s Coleman A. Young International Airport.

The Selfridge Open House Air Show will take place July 9-10 and will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, though reserved seating can be purchased at $39 for adults and $27 for children ages 3-12.

A full list of prohibited items can be found at, though some prohibited items of note include backpacks, duffle bags, large camera bags, coolers, recreational vehicles, drones, weapons, laser pointers, alcohol and drugs including marijuana, which remains illegal on federal property.

Guests should be aware of road construction surrounding Selfridge, particularly along Hall Road (M-59).