ALGIERS COUNTY, MI — Ten military aircraft will land on an Upper Peninsula highway later this month to practice operating in austere environments, the Michigan National Guard said.

A 9,000-foot section of the four-lane M-28 highway east of Munising in Algiers County will be closed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 28 to accommodate the training exercise called Northern Agility 22-1. Detours will be posted. Civilian access will not be permitted during the exercise. However, low-flying aircraft will be visible from Munising.

“Northern Agility 22-1 supports the Air Force directive to ‘accelerate change or lose,’ testing our Airmen’s inherent innovation and ability to meet any challenge, any anytime, anywhere,” said Brig. Gen. Bryan Teff, deputy adjutant general and commander of the Michigan Air National Guard.

RELATED: Military planes will land on the UP highway

During the shutdown, eight A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft, one MC-12W aircraft and one U-28A aircraft will land on the highway to demonstrate refueling and ammunition loading in austere environments.

The A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft is designed to operate from austere locations. In August 2021, Michigan ANG and US Air Force A-10s landed safely on an enclosed portion of the M-32 near Alpena during the Michigan National Guard’s flagship exercise, Northern Strike .

Although military planes have landed on US highways before, this will be the first time that maintenance crews will refuel and reload running jets during highway operations to get crew back in the air as quickly as possible.

Participating in the exercise the 1st Special Operations Group of the US Air Force Special Operations Command from Hurlburt Field, Florida; the 127th Wing of the Michigan Air National Guard from Selfridge ANG Base; the 137th Oklahoma ANG Special Operations Wing from Will Rogers Base ANG; and the 175th Maryland Fighter Wing ANG from the base Warfield ANG.

Additionally, an MQ-9 Reaper from the North Dakota Air National Guard’s 119th Wing, crewed by Airmen from the Michigan ANG’s 110th Wing, Battle Creek ANG Base, will provide surveillance for the event.

During the freeway closure, eastbound traffic will be diverted on H-58 to H-15 and 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 time.

Northern Agility is scheduled for June 27-29 at Sawyer International Airport; the airport will be closed to civilians during this time. The event is hosted by the Michigan Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, Michigan Department of Transportation and local agencies.


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