Off of Alert

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)