Candice Miller for Congress, Michigan

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Heritage, innovation on display at Selfridge air show

by Candice Miller on September 3, 2014


POSTED: 09/03/14, 9:03 AM EDT | UPDATED: 1 HR AGO

Selfridge Air National Guard Base has long been a bedrock institution for Macomb County, for Michigan and the country at large, bolstering our national defense in conflicts dating to WWI, protecting the border and providing homeland security.

As residents and citizens we also are thankful for the contributions Selfridge makes to our community, employing 5,000 civilian and military personnel with payroll and related annual spending above $100 million.

In a few short days, we’ll have another reason to be grateful as the base hosts one of the premier public aerial demonstrations in the U.S., the Selfridge Open House and Air Show.

The two-day event Sept. 6 & 7 will feature performances by the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels (appearing at Selfridge for the first time since 2005), an extraordinary collection of female aerial acrobats, skydivers and skywriters, and the A-10 Thunderbolt and KC-135 Stratotanker, critical components of our air defense system that are based at Selfridge.

Officials at the base expect up to 75,000 people to attend each day. And admission and parking are free.

Representing Selfridge in Congress and sitting on the House Homeland Security Committee has given me a special appreciation for the role Selfridge plays in our lives. Units from every branch of our armed services, the Coast Guard, Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection call Selfridge home, providing opportunities for cooperation and coordination in our national defense found nowhere else in the country.

It is a truly trailblazing operation (which is more than fitting for a base named after U.S. Army Lt. Thomas Selfridge, who became the first American military aviation fatality in 1908 when he died in a crash survived by pilot Orville Wright).

I am immensely proud of that heritage, which will be on display during the air show, and the thousands of active and retired personnel who served their country at Selfridge and on deployments around the world.

Our thanks to them, and see you at the air show.

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