UPDATE: Summer military training near Munising involves aircraft landing on M-28

An A-10 Thunderbolt II from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona lands on a public highway in...
An A-10 Thunderbolt II from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona lands on a public highway in Alpena, Michigan, August 5, 2021. The highway landing is part of Exercise Northern Strike 21-2, an annual multinational, large scale military training event that tests the rapid insertion of an Air Expeditionary Wing into a bare-base environment. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Scott Thompson)(Master Sgt. Scott Thompson | 127th Wing Public Affairs)
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 9:26 PM EDT
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MUNISING, Mich. (WLUC) - UPDATE: Military aircrews will use a temporary landing zone - a closed-off 9,000-foot section of M-28 - on June 28 during a training exercise.

From June 27-29, the Michigan Air National Guard (ANG) will partner with Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), and local agencies to host exercise “Northern Agility 22-1,” which prepares military aircrews for operations in harsh environments under the Air Force’s Agile Combat Employment (ACE) doctrine.

The landing zone on M-28 east of Munising, named “Hawk LZ” in honor of F-16 pilot Maj. Durwood “Hawk” Jones from the Wisconsin ANG’s 115th Fighter Wing who lost his life in a training accident in Michigan in 2020, will be closed for six hours from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on June 28.

Northern Agility 22-1 will showcase A-10 Thunderbolt II, AFSOC MC-12W and U-28A aircraft conducting agile combat employment in Alger County and at Sawyer International Airport.

“Northern Agility 22-1 supports the Air Force’s directive to ‘accelerate change or lose,’ testing the inherent innovation of our Airmen and their ability to face any challenge, any time, anywhere,” said Brig. Gen. Bryan Teff, assistant adjutant general and commander of the Michigan Air National Guard. “The Northern Agility exercise series proves Michigan as a champion for ACE, leveraging our state’s unique partnerships, training environment, and resources to prepare the Joint Force for today’s fight, posture for future missions, and stay one step ahead of our adversaries.”

AFSOC’s 1st Special Operations Group, Hurlburt Field, Florida; the Michigan ANG’s 127th Wing, Selfridge ANG Base; the Oklahoma ANG’s 137th Special Operations Wing, Will Rogers ANG Base; and the Maryland ANG’s 175th Fighter Wing, Warfield ANG Base, will land eight A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, one MC-12W aircraft and one U-28A aircraft on the closed-off portion of M-28 to demonstrate engine-running refueling and inert munitions loading in austere environments. Additionally, an MQ-9 Reaper from the North Dakota ANG’s 119th Wing, Fargo ANG Base, crewed by Airmen from the Michigan ANG’s 110th Wing, Battle Creek ANG Base, will provide overwatch for the event.

“This is the second time the Air Force has purposefully landed fighter aircraft on a civilian roadway in Michigan because it makes sense to do it here,” said Teff. “The proximity of numerous civilian airports to Michigan’s unique training airspace and ranges help make northern Michigan a premier ACE training location.”

The event will train aircrews to operate in austere environments and was also done safely in Michigan last year near Alpena.

During the closure, eastbound traffic will be detoured 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 period. Viewing low-flying aircraft will be possible from the city of Munising. This closure will be posted on MDOT’s travel information website and detour route signs will help guide travelers through the area. Portable message boards will be posted leading up to the date of the closure as well. Hanley Field, the Alger County airport, will be closed to all civilian air traffic June 27-29. This message will be on the Alger County website and posted as a Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) as well. To ensure public safety, there will be no civilian foot traffic allowed on the airport property during this period

Last published: May 30, 2022 9:27:42 PM

The Michigan Air National Guard says it is partnering with state and local agencies to facilitate a military training event in the Munising area later this summer.

This will involve a temporary aircraft landing zone on a closed portion of M-28 for a few hours. The event will train aircrews to operate in austere environments and was also done safely in Michigan last year near Alpena.

The projected timeframe for this event is late June. The Michigan Air National Guard says it is still working on details at this point, but an official announcement should be out soon.

“It is our goal to offer clear and detailed information to the public when we have it,” said Capt. Andrew Layton in an email to TV6.

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