By journal staff
MUNISING — The Michigan Air National Guard announced that from June 27-29, it will partner with Air Force Special Operations Command, the Michigan Department of Transportation and local agencies to conduct Exercise Northern Agility 22-1, which prepares military aircrew for operations in austere environments according to the Air Force’s Agile Combat Employment doctrine.
Northern Agility 22-1 will feature A-10 Thunderbolt II, AFSOC MC-12W and U-28A aircraft performing agile combat at Sawyer International Airport and on a closed portion of M-28 east of Munising. Northern Agility 22-1 will focus on contested logistics and the ability to conduct integrated combat turns in an austere environment.
The Michigan Department of Military Affairs and Veterans Affairs said the temporary landing zone in Algiers County will take place June 28 on a closed 9,000-foot section of four-lane freeway. The landing zone, which will operate for six hours on June 28, is named Hawk LZ in honor of F-16 pilot Major Durwood “Falcon” Jones of the Wisconsin ANG 115th Fighter Wing who lost his life in a training accident in Michigan in 2020.
Additional readiness and training activities will precede and follow the June 27-29 highway landing at Sawyer International Airport.
“Northern Agility 22-1 supports the Air Force’s directive to ‘accelerate change or lose,’ testing our Airmen’s inherent innovation and ability to meet any challenge, anytime, anywhere. anywhere”, Brig. Gen. Bryan Teff, deputy adjutant general and commander of the Michigan Air National Guard, said in a press release. “The Northern Agility Exercise Series proves that Michigan is an ACE champion, leveraging our state’s unique partnerships, training environment and resources to prepare the Joint Force for today’s combat. today, positioning ourselves for future missions and staying one step ahead of our adversaries.”
the 1st AFSOC Special Operations Group, Hurlburt Field, Florida; 127th Michigan Wing ANG, Base Selfridge ANG; the 137th Special Operations Wing Oklahoma ANG, Base Will Rogers ANG; and the Maryland ANG 175th Fighter Wing, Warfield ANG Base, will land eight A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, one MC-12W aircraft and one U-28A aircraft on an enclosed portion of the M-28 to demonstrate refueling and loading inert ammunition in austere environments.
Additionally, an MQ-9 Reaper from ANG’s 119th Wing in North Dakota, Fargo ANG Base, with a crew of Airmen from ANG’s 110th Wing in Michigan, Battle Creek ANG Base, will provide surveillance. of the event.
A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft were specifically designed to operate from austere locations if necessary and have done so safely on many occasions. In August, Michigan ANG and US Air Force A-10s landed safely on an enclosed portion of the M-32 near Alpena during the Michigan National Guard’s flagship exercise, Northern Strike.
Northern Agility 22-1 is an incremental step in the Air Force’s strategy to project combat power through ACE. Dynamic exercises like this demonstrate the Air Force’s ability to deploy quickly from anywhere, anytime — a critical advantage the Air Force has said it retains over its adversaries.
Although military aircraft have landed on US highways before, this will be the first time that maintenance crews have performed ICT during highway operations. An ICT allows for the rapid rearming and refueling of a running jet to reduce crew time on the ground and get them back in the air.
“This is the second time the Air Force has deliberately landed fighter jets on a civilian road in Michigan because it makes sense to do so here,” says Teff. “The proximity of many civilian airports to Michigan’s unique airspace and training fields helps make Northern Michigan a premier ACE training location.”
Michigan is home to two key facilities that fuel rapid innovation within the Department of Defense: the Kelly Johnson Joint All-Domain Innovation Center, a living laboratory where new ideas and technologies are born, tested, and evaluated for future combat war, and the National War Combat Center of the entire estate.
NADWC, comprised of Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center and Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center, encompasses nearly 148,000 acres of ground maneuvering area and 17,000 square miles of special-use airspace, making it the one of the most versatile training areas of its kind in the Department of Defense.
“Most importantly, none of our training activities could take place without the incredible partnerships ANG Michigan has with our communities, civic agencies, and business owners across Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula,” says Teff.
“In addition to our deep appreciation for their patriotism, cooperation and unwavering support, protecting Michiganders and our nation is what motivates us to continue training and striving for excellence.”
To facilitate the exercise, the Michigan Department of Transportation will close M-28 east of Munising from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 28.
During the closure, eastbound traffic will be diverted on H-58 to H-15 and back to M-28. The route will be reversed for westbound traffic.
There will be no civilian access to the M-28 landing zone during this time.
Observation of low-flying aircraft will be possible from the town of Munising.
This closure will be posted on the MDOT travel information website and detour signs will help guide travelers through the area. Portable message boards will also be posted until the closing date.
Hanley Field, the Algiers County airport, will be closed to all civilian air traffic from June 27-29. This message will be on the Algiers County website and will also be posted as a Notice to Airmen.
To ensure public safety, no civilian foot traffic will be permitted on airport property during this time.