Selfridge Supports KC-135 LAIRCM Testing

Members of the Michigan Air National Guard’s 127th Wing at Selfridge ANG Base, northeast of Detroit, are installing a new version of the Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures System called Guardian on a KC-135 tanker for testing, announced unit officials. “The work being done by our airmen on this project will have a direct impact on the future safety of not only aircraft, but the airmen, soldiers, sailors, and marines aboard those aircraft,” said Col. Michael Thomas, 127th WG commander, in the base’s Feb. 4 release. The Selfridge maintainers began work in mid-January to prepare one of the wing’s KC-135s for the prototype LAIRCM pod, states the release. Once modified, the Air Guard will conduct tests with the KC-135 at a range in another state. The testing is expected to conclude by late spring or early summer, states the release. LAIRCM is designed to defeat man-portable surface-to-air missiles by jamming their guidance systems in flight using a laser beam. The Air Force has not finalized plans for how many of its KC-135s it will modify to carry the pods, states the release. (Selfridge report by TSgt. Dan Heaton)