The Michigan Air National Guard’s 127th Wing at Selfridge ANG Base outside of Detroit formally relinquished its air sovereignty alert mission on Oct. 2 to the Ohio ANG’s 180th Fighter Wing based in Toledo. Selfridge’s F-16s have protected American skies and stood on alert around-the-clock since 9/11 as part of Operation Noble Eagle. But the unit is scheduled to stop flying its F-16s by the end of the year and transition to A-10s under BRAC 2005 decisions. The 127th held a ceremony on Oct. 2 to mark the end of its combat air patrols. “It’s amazing to think how far we’ve come, from standing up this mission … to protecting these skies for seven years,” said Brig. Gen. Michael Peplinski, the wing’s commander. He continued, “Thanks to all of you who made this mission successful; we couldn’t have done it without the unending support of our families, our friends and our community.” Canadian Brig. Gen. Andre Viens, deputy commander of NORAD’s Continental Region, presented the wing with a commemorative plaque and thanked its members for their constant vigilance in spite of numerous deployments to Southwest Asia. Earlier in the year the 127th converted its C-130 airlift mission to flying KC-135 tankers. (Selfridge report by Capt. Penny Carroll)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.