Selfridge Air National Guard

Stateside
5:28 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Will defense cuts kill Michigan's 'Warthogs'?

An A-10 Warthog.
user foqus Flickr

Earlier this week, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel unveiled his latest budget proposal. And it is clear that as the drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan continues, the Obama administration's priority is now reducing military size and spending.

Secretary Hagel declared that budget reductions cut “so deep, so quickly, that we cannot shrink the size of our military fast enough.”

For instance, the active-duty Army would shrink to its smallest level since just before the U.S. entered World War II. There would be base closings, troop cuts, trimmed salary increases, and the complete elimination of several Air Force aircraft fleets.

That includes the A-10, an aircraft that dates back to the Cold War.

The A-10, also known as "The Warthog," was designed to take out Soviet tanks.

Twenty-four of America's 300 Warthogs are at Selfridge Air National Guard Base near Mt Clemens in Macomb County. Eliminating that fleet would be a gut punch to Selfridge.

Here to explain is Detroit News Washington Bureau Chief David Shepardson.

Listen to the full interview above. 

Politics & Government
6:00 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Defense budget proposal may affect Michigan

A-10s provide close-air support for U.S. and coalition ground troops throughout Afghanistan.
Staff Sgt. David Carbajal U.S. Air Force

Michigan may stand to gain and lose in the proposed U.S. Department of Defense budget plans.

The budget plan Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel laid out yesterday cuts spending on what’s seen as old Cold War hardware and spends more money on "21st century weapons".

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Politics
5:46 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Concerns remain over Air National Guard cuts

The latest budget proposal from the Pentagon calls for keeping C-130 airplanes at bases around the country to preserve jobs.
Josh Beasley flickr

Concerns remain over what the Obama administration's proposed budget could mean for the Selfridge Air National Guard base in Macomb County.

Rep. Candice Miller (R-Shelby Twp.) says she's far from satisfied with the Obama administration's latest proposal to mitigate cuts to the Air National Guard. Miller's district includes the Selfridge base. Selfridge stood to lose hundreds of jobs under the Pentagon's original budget proposal for next year. 

After pressure from Congress and governors, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has come out with a proposal that would keep more C-130 aircraft in the National Guard. Panetta says that would restore 2,200 Air Guard jobs across the United States. 

Miller calls the plan "a slap in the face."

"Certainly I think the men and women of the Air National Guard deserve better than to be given more than old airplanes and temporary jobs," Miller said.

Selfridge no longer has C-130s. But it did before a 2005 base realignment. Rep. Sander Levin(D-Royal Oak)  says the development is promising, and that he'll push for basing some of the aircraft at Selfridge again.

Politics
7:12 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Michigan Air National Guard Bases may not be losing jobs

U.S. Air Force personnel from 110th Air Lift Wing boarding a C-130 prior to their departure in support of the Operation Readiness Training, Air National Guard base, Battle Creek, Mich., June 6, 2011.
(courtesy of the Michigan Guard)

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - U.S. Rep. Sander Levin says he's hopeful that a Pentagon decision to add 24 C-130 air transport planes will offset sharp job cuts planned at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recommended Tuesday that the military budget the Air National Guard planes and the 2,200 personnel needed to support them.

Levin says the announcement "is a positive step in the battle for equitable treatment of the guard." The Royal Oak Democrat says he'll press to see that the C-130s are based at Selfridge, 20 miles northeast of Detroit in Macomb County's Harrison Township.

The Obama administration budget for fiscal year 2013 now calls for cutting a net 450 part-time and 200 full-time jobs at Selfridge with the relocation of two-dozen A-10 Thunderbolt II air-to-ground attack aircraft.

Politics
5:41 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Senator Levin has “tough questions” on proposed air guard cuts

Senator Carl Levin speaks with guests at the Holland-Zeeland Chamber luncheon Monday.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

Michigan’s 15 members of congress are questioning proposed cuts that affect the state’s air national guard bases. They sent letters to both the House and Senate Armed Services Committees Monday. The congressional delegation joined Governor Rick Snyder, who questioned Secretary of Defense Leon Penetta about the cuts (along with other governors) in a letter last week.

The cuts would eliminate more than 600 positions; although most are part-time jobs with the Michigan Air National Guard. The two bases affected are in Battle Creek and near Mt. Clemens.

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Economy
9:53 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Pentagon plan will cut deep into the Michigan Air National Guard

A Pentagon report says planned Air National Guard cuts would eliminate about 850 jobs at Michigan's Selfridge and Kellogg bases, drawing criticism from Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin and others from the state's congressional delegation.

The Detroit News quotes an Air Force report saying Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Macomb County's Harrison Township would lose 724 jobs with the relocation A-10 fighters.

It says Kellogg Air Guard Station in Battle Creek would lose a net 122 jobs.

Democrat Levin says he's asked the military to give him "the methodology and justification for these plans." He says he'll question the Air Force secretary and chief of staff in committee March 20.

Harrison Township Republican Rep. Candice Miller calls the cuts "a step in the wrong direction."

Politics
7:44 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Michigan National Guard leader warns against cuts

US Air National Guard

The general who runs Michigan’s Army and Air National Guard is warning about what he calls ill-advised cuts.

The Air Force wants to retire 286 aircraft over the next five years to accommodate a new national defense strategy and shrinking budget.

Major General Gregory Vadnais told reservists at the Battle Creek and Selfridge Air National Guard bases Friday that those bases would lose 673 positions because of proposed Air Force budget cuts.

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Politics
4:01 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

Michigan congressman raises concerns about defense spending

Air National Guard logo

The budget President Obama delivers to Congress this week will spend about 8 billion dollars less on the Defense Department.  That's going to directly affect two Michigan Air National Guard Bases.

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Military
7:39 am
Fri September 9, 2011

300 Michigan guard members prepare for Afghanistan

About 300 members of the Michigan Air National Guard are expected to report to active duty this month for deployment to Afghanistan.

Selfridge Air National Guard Base announced today that the group of its 127th Wing Airmen will include pilots, crew, maintenance technicians and support personnel. They're expected to serve 4- to 6-month tours in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

They will be part of a unit flying the A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft. The unit had been scheduled for deployment in spring 2012, but the timetable was moved up.

So far this year, more than 200 military members from the base in Harrison Township, about 20 miles northeast of Detroit, have been deployed.

Air Show
10:52 am
Mon August 22, 2011

Feds probe wing walker death at Michigan air show

DETROIT (AP) - The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are at Selfridge Air National Guard base in southeastern Michigan investigating the death of stunt wing walker who fell to his death at an air show.

The FAA says Monday that the agency can't release any details yet surrounding the death of Todd Green.

The experienced stunt man fell 200 feet to the ground Sunday afternoon while trying to move from a Stearman plane to a helicopter.

Technical Sgt. Dan Heaton says Green hit the ground about 1,500 feet from the crowd line. An estimated 75,000 spectators were on hand for the show.

The air show at the base in Harrison Township, about 20 miles northeast of Detroit, began Friday and ended Sunday.