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Michigan's Selfridge base is tops in Air National Guard

By Tech. Sgt. Dan Heaton | 127th Wing | January 28, 2016

SELFRIDGE AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Mich. - The airfield operations management team at Selfridge Air National Guard Base has been named the Air National Guard's Airfield Operations Complex of the Year for 2015. The award is the latest in a five-year string of major awards won the by airfield managers and air traffic controllers at Selfridge.

"The dedicated professionalism of these fine individuals led the way in setting and exceeding superior standards," said S. Scott Duke, chief of the Airfield, Ranges and Command & Control Division of the National Guard Bureau.

The airfield at Selfridge is the busiest such facility managed exclusively by Air National Guard personnel. Most ANG units co-exist with a civilian airport or other entity. Selfridge airfield managers serve not only Air Force operations, but also support aircraft assigned to the Coast Guard, Army and Customs & Border Protection, as well as any visiting military or governmental aircraft. Selfridge's 2015 operations included visits to the airfield by both Air Force One and Air Force Two, carrying President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden, respectively, as they made visits to the Detroit region.

"While we are certainly pleased with this recognition, we are hardly surprised," said Brig. Gen. John D. Slocum, 127th Wing commander. "Our airfield team, led by Senior Master Sgt. Kelli Martin at the ops desk and Mr. Steve Oliver in the tower, show us their professionalism and dedication every time an aircraft takes off or lands at Selfridge."

Over the past two years, the Selfridge runway, taxiways and related parking spaces have undergone more than $7.1 million worth of upgrades and renovations and the tower exterior received a $500,000 make-over - all projects overseen by the airfield management team while operations continued at their typical pace.

In addition to local operations, the Air Traffic Control team at Selfridge last year began providing training to Airmen of the military of Latvia. The Michigan National Guard and Latvia have been working together in the State Partnership Program for more than 20 years. The SPP aligns state National Guards with nations around the world in an effort to build democracy and international relationships.

The ATC team at Selfridge also serves as a hands-on training site for apprentice military air traffic controllers from across the U.S. Air National Guard.

In 2014, the airfield management team was named the airfield facility of the year by the Air National Guard. In 2010 and 2011, the Selfridge airfield management group won awards for the airfield "complex" of the year. In 2012, Martin was named the Air National Guard's airfield manager of the year.