The A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, an air-to-ground attack platform best known as the ‘Warthog,’ will remain in the U.S. Air Force inventory until at least 2022, according to U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. Twenty-one A-10s are assigned to the 127th Wing of the Michigan Air National Guard at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Macomb County. In addition, about 180 full-time jobs and almost 300 part-time jobs are directly related to working on A-10 operations at Selfridge.
“With this announcement by the secretary of defense we have every expectation that the A-10s will remain at Selfridge,” said 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.”
Brig. Gen. Leonard Isabelle, commander of the Michigan Air National Guard shared his sentiment with this latest decision. “I am pleased to hear the Air Force has made the decision to keep the A-10 in the inventory until 2022. This decision will give the 127th Wing and our Airmen more stability, while allowing us to strategically plan for a potential future in the F-35,” said Isabelle.
“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 Michigan Airmen have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt the incredible skill and dedication they bring to the fight.”
In 2015, about 450 Selfridge A-10 pilots, maintainers, weapons loaders and other support personnel spent about six months forward deployed, engaged in combat against ISIL in and around Syria. During the six month deployment, the Selfridge aircraft flew more in six months than they typically do 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.