Airman 1st Class Tevin Duhart takes a sample of oil from the A-10 Thunderbolt II engine, checking for debris in the oil during flight operations at Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich., Aug. 10, 2012. Duhart assigned to the 127th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, participated in a surge operation conducted throughout the day. | Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. David Kujawa/Released via Flickr Public Domain
Michigan U.S. Sens. Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) announced Wednesday that they have secured a commitment from the U.S. Department of Defense that “ensures the military’s commitment to Selfridge Air National Guard Base as a key facility to our national security.”
A letter to them by John Roth, acting United States secretary of the Air Force, highlighted the long-term roles that A-10 and KC-135 aircraft currently at Selfridge will continue to play in the branch’s future planning. It comes after a bipartisan set of Michigan officials twice supported an unsuccessful bid to have Selfridge as a major defense fighter plane site. Selfridge is located in Macomb County.
“Like you, we are proud of the men and women of the Selfridge’s 127th Wing,” Roth wrote. “The Department of the Air Force is grateful for the continued support you and the community provide that enables the critical missions of this base. As we adapt our Air Force to meet current and future national security challenges, Selfridge will continue to play an essential role. We remain available to provide additional details on the Air Force’s plans for Selfridge Air National Guard Base.”
Peters noted that Michigan is home to “a number of military installations that are critical to our national defense.”
“I pressed the Department of Defense and Air Force to make investments in our state, and I’m pleased to have secured these commitments that reaffirm how Selfridge and military facilities across Michigan will continue to play a key role in future operations,” said Peters, a former lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve.
Stabenow said that men and women who serve at Michigan military installations “are the finest in all of the armed forces — they’re simply second to none.”
“Not only do they keep us safe, but they are a key part of our communities and state’s economy. That’s why Senator Peters and I pushed so hard to ensure that the Air Force and Defense Department recognized how unique Michigan’s military installations really are and why we will hold them to the commitments they made,” said Stabenow.
Mark Hackel, Macomb County executive, applauded Stabenow and Peters’ effort.
“Locally, Selfridge is known as our hometown airbase, but through our collective efforts, the inspiring work of the military and civilian personnel at the base is being discussed at the federal level,” he said. “We believe these mission and base modernization efforts will ensure that Selfridge remains a critical asset in our nation’s defense.”