Michigan Air National Guard KC-135 tankers supported the state’s international partnership with the Liberian armed forces, shuttling a contingent of Army National Guardsmen to Monrovia, Liberia, last week. Two KC-135s from the 127th Wing at Selfridge ANGB, Mich., airlifted civil engineers from the Army’s 1430th Engineer Company to build new barracks for the Liberians. “We have never planned for an aircraft to actually land in an African country so getting clearance for aircraft and equipment was a new process for us,” project manager Maj. Leah Voelker said in a release. Michigan is paired with both Latvia and Liberia under the National Guard’s State Partnership Program, which links states with allies and partners to forge long-term, capacity-building relationships. The barracks construction project is slated for completion early next year. Michigan KC-135s also supported deployment of the wing’s A-10s to the US Central Command area of operations earlier this year.
These are the complete remarks by Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III at the Reagan National Defense Forum, Dec. 3, 2022, in Simi Valley, Calif.