Four A-10 Thunderbolts and two C-146 transport aircraft commanded by three separate units, including the Michigan Air National Guard, completed their operation by putting the planes down on State Highway M-32 in northeastern Michigan's Alpena County.
The operation was part of the annual training event called "Exercise Northern Strike," which is hosted by the Michigan National Guard at the National All-Domain Warfighting Center in Lansing, according to a news release.
The Michigan Air National Guard’s 127th Wing of Selfridge Air National Guard Base, the Air Force’s 355th Wing of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona, and the Air Force Special Operations Command based at Duke Field in Florida participated in the mission.
“This is believed to be the first time in history that modern Air Force aircraft have intentionally landed on a civilian roadway on U.S. soil,” said Air Force Col. James Rossi, who commands the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, a subdivision of the Warfighting Center. “Our efforts are focused on our ability to train the warfighter in any environment across the continuum so our nation can compete, deter, and win today and tomorrow.”
You don’t see this everyday on a Michigan highway. pic.twitter.com/wb07gyKtWg
— @MSPNorthernMI (@mspnorthernmi) August 5, 2021
The exercise was part of the Air Force's agile combat employment strategy and demonstrated "the Air Force’s ability to deploy rapidly from anywhere, at any time," the Michigan National Guard's news release said.
“We did it! We made history!” the Michigan National Guard’s 127th Wing wrote on Facebook.
To perform the operation, authorities closed part of the rural highway and disconnected electricity to homes in the immediate area for a five-hour period.
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Original Author: Jeremy Beaman
Original Location: Air Force aircraft land on Michigan highway