Air Force secretary confirms continuation of 127th Wing’s flying missions

By: Alex Szwarc | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published August 11, 2021


HARRISON TOWNSHIP — The Department of Defense has expressed its commitment to key missions at a Macomb County military installation.

A July 28 press release notes that the Department of Defense committed to A-10 Thunderbolt II and KC-135 Stratotanker missions at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township into the future.

A letter sent from Acting Secretary of the U.S. Air Force John P. Roth highlights the long-term roles that the A-10 and KC-135 missions currently at Selfridge will continue to play in the branch’s future planning.

“I would like to confirm the continuation of the 127th Wing’s flying missions involving the A-10 and KC-135 aircraft and place those missions within the broader context of our plans for the future of our fighter and tanker fleets,” Roth’s letter states.

It notes that the Air Force’s future fighter force plan involves right-sizing the entire A-10 fleet to 218 aircraft and maintaining seven operational A-10 squadrons into the 2030s or beyond.

“Selfridge’s 107th Fighter Squadron will retain all of its existing A-10s for the next decade, while also modernizing those aircraft,” it states. “Ten of the 21 A-10s at Selfridge have already received wing upgrades, with the remaining 11 to be complete by FY 26. Put simply, Selfridge’s critical role as an A-10 base will continue.”

Regarding air refueling capability within the Air Force, Roth writes that Selfridge KC-135s will remain an indispensable source of tanker capacity for the country’s national security.

“The 171st Air Refueling Squadron will be part of the 300 KC-135s the Air Force plans to keep,” he notes.

It adds that Selfridge’s critical role as a base for KC 135s will continue.

A week prior, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Michigan, announced nearly $128 million in investments for Michigan military facilities and operations in the National Defense Bill advancing to full Senate.

The following provisions related to Selfridge were included in the Senate Armed Services Committee-approved bill.

For investing in Michigan military facilities, $28 million has been allocated for a new A-10 hangar and maintenance facility at Selfridge.

Regarding supporting Michigan’s defense sector and advanced technology, the bill prohibits the retirement of the A-10 Warthog in fiscal year 2022.

The release indicates the bill also prohibits the Air National Guard from getting rid of any KC-135 aerial refueling aircrafts.