Miller Demands Further Information from the Air Force on Changes at Selfridge Air National Guard Base

Jul 10, 2012 Issues: Defense and Homeland Security

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representative Candice Miller (MI-10) today demanded further information from the U.S. Air Force regarding the letter the Air Force sent to Rep. Miller informing her of their intention to receive an exemption and move forward with the planned changes to the A-10s based at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.  Miller said:

“Earlier this year, we successfully fought the Administration’s efforts to eliminate the 107th Fighter Squadron based at Selfridge Air National Guard Base by winning inclusion of strong protections in the National Defense Authorization Act that passed the House.  I will continue to fight any efforts to eliminate this unit.

“In the letter I received yesterday and the clarification I received today from the Air Force they acknowledge that current policy is that no aircraft are to be moved without congressional approval.  We will continue to work with and consult the Michigan National Guard on any efforts to change the force structure of the 107th and will take whatever action is in the best interest of the Michigan Air Guard and our national defense.

“The Michigan National Guard stands ready to defend our state and our nation at a moment’s notice and as the Representative of the 107th Fighter Squadron I stand ready at a moment’s notice to protect their interests.”

Below is the letter the Air Force Legislative Liaison sent to Rep. Miller today. (Linked are both yesterday’s and today’s Air Force letters.)

Dear Representative Miller:

Thank you for the opportunity to further clarify my letter dated 9 Jul in regards to the A-10 transfers from the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.  I want to highlight these transfers are separate from the FY13 Presidential Budge which proposes removal of 21 A-10 aircraft from Selfridge.  My 9 Jul letter attempted to clarify the scheduled transfer of five Backup Aircraft Inventory (BAI) A-10s to four other ANG bases.  These FY10 budget transfers were scheduled to occur in FY13.  As I mentioned in the 9 Jul letter, per the direction of the Secretary of Defense, the U.S. Air Force will suspend aircraft transfers and retirements previously scheduled for implementation in FY12 until Congress completes action on the FY13 defense authorization and defense appropriations bills.  This includes the initiation of actions for transfer of the BAI aircraft from Selfridge.

BAI aircraft act as a buffer for Primary Aircraft Assigned (PAA) that are in maintenance or depot status to ensure each unit can continue to fly their normal flying rates and have sufficient aircraft available for contingency or wartime tasking.  Unit manning and flying hour funding are based on PAA.  The number of PAA A-10s based at the 127th Wing is not changing, so manning and funding will not be affected.  Transferring these five aircraft from Selfridge to the four other locations adjusts the fleet to ensure all five units possess a healthy and viable A-10 fleet, and is a solution coordinated with the National Guard Bureau.

I appreciate your continued support of the Air Force and look forward to working together to ensure our Airmen are resourced to meet the requirements of the new Department of Defense Strategic Guidance.