Air Force Capt. Brynt Ellis is a medical readiness officer from the 127th Medical Group at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. This week, a team of 10 citizen airmen from Selfridge assisted in creating a federal medical station at the TCF Center in Detroit.

Air Force Capt. Brynt Ellis is a medical readiness officer from the 127th Medical Group at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. This week, a team of 10 citizen airmen from Selfridge assisted in creating a federal medical station at the TCF Center in Detroit.

Photo provided by Michigan National Guard


Selfridge airmen help create federal medical station at TCF Center

Open house, air show canceled

By: Alex Szwarc | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published April 3, 2020

File photo

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“We’re from Michigan and a part of Michigan, and this is a way for us to serve and help the American people directly.”

Senior Master Sgt. Robin Cleaver, of the 127th Wing logistic readiness squadron

HARRISON TOWNSHIP/DETROIT — In regard to confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan, Detroit has been hardest hit.

With 2,858 cases and 101 deaths reported as of April 2, more than any other area in the state, a need has emerged to convert Detroit’s TCF Center into a coronavirus alternate care site.

For that to happen, on March 31 and April 1, a team of 10 citizen airmen from the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township joined approximately 20 other Michigan National Guard members to assist the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, in creating a federal medical station at the TCF Center in Detroit.

The TCF Center, formerly known as Cobo Hall, can accommodate around 1,000 beds.

Senior Master Sgt. Robin Cleaver, of the 127th Wing logistic readiness squadron, said in a April 2 Facebook video that the group of 10 airmen helped with assembling emergency beds for setting up the auxiliary hospital.

“Here, with a state activation, we’re side-by-side with first responder partners and working to take care of the American people,” Cleaver said. “We’re from Michigan and a part of Michigan, and this is a way for us to serve and help the American people directly.”

In a April 1 news release, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer indicated that, “The state of Michigan is thankful for the sustaining presence of the men and women of the Michigan National Guard as we continue our work to slow the spread of COVID-19. The National Guard is a team of dedicated Michigan citizens invested as partners in navigating challenges that face our communities like COVID-19.”

On March 30, President Donald Trump authorized the use of Michigan National Guard members, granting Whitmer’s request for a formal mission assignment to allocate and order up to 3,000 members of the Michigan Army and Air National guard for up to 90 days to perform humanitarian missions across the state, such as helping run mobile screening facilities, distributing food and medical supplies, ensuring resiliency of supply lines and disinfecting public spaces.

“Today’s Michigan National Guard, with its two readiness centers and more than 300 members that reside in the city limits, is a proud member of the community,” Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs states in the release. “The Michigan National Guard stands ready to support Detroit in its fight against COVID-19.”

On March 18, Whitmer requested federal funding for use of Michigan National Guard.

She sent a letter to Trump requesting the full use and force of the Michigan National Guard to be dedicated to COVID-19 response and support.  

Whitmer urged Trump to  authorize the use of National Guard members that would allow for the immediate and enduring use of the Michigan National Guard for operational support, under the governor’s command and control, with federal funding for pay, benefits, and equipment. 

Air show cancelled

In other Selfridge news, it was announced April 3 that with uncertainty of the spreading coronavirus, the 2020 Selfridge International Open House and Air Show has been canceled.

The air show, which was set to feature the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, was scheduled for June 6-7. The next air show is scheduled for July 2022.

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