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Michigan Air National Guard landing military jets on M-32 near Alpena

Military commanders say this would be the first time A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft have landed on a U.S. roadway
Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 11:26 AM EDT
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ALPENA COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - For the first time ever, the Michigan Air National Guard is going to try landing military aircraft on a public roadway rather than a designated runway.

A stretch of M-32 near Alpena will be closed for five hours on Aug. 5 for the training exercise, which includes four A-10s and two C-146 aircraft. The aircraft are based at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Macomb County, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona and Duke Field in Florida.

A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft from the Michigan National Guard landed on highways in Estonia during a multinational training exercise in 2018, but they never have tried a roadway landing in America.

“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 U.S. Air Force Col. James Rossi, Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center commander. “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.”

The exercise is part of the two-week Northern Strike training taking place on 148,000 acres of Camp Grayling and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, along with 17,000 square miles between them.

“This year’s Northern Strike exercise includes testing the rapid insertion of an Air Expeditionary Wing into a bare-base environment when the 127th Wing from Selfridge deploys up to the Alpena CRTC,” said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Bryan Teff, Michigan Air National Guard adjutant general for air. “They will establish logistics and communications in order to receive follow-on forces, generate mission employment, including the austere landing on M-32, and project combat power across all domains.”

M-32 will be closed from Herron Road to King Settlement Road from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Aug. 5 for the training exercise. Traffic will be detoured on M-65, Werth Road, U.S. 23 and Ripley Street.

Several residences around the M-32 landing area will have their electricity disconnected during the five-hour landing window. The U.S. Air Force will reach out to all affected residents, so they can make alternate arrangements if necessary.

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