Brigadier general is new commander at Selfridge base

The Detroit News

Brig. Gen. John D. Slocum has assumed command of the 127th Wing at Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

He also will serve as the commander of the base, which has about 4,500 personnel in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines national guard and reserves, Coast Guard and U.S. Customs & Border Protection.

“The 127th has a remarkable track record of success,” Slocum said in a statement. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to lead the Wing into a new phase of enduring contributions to our country and to the State of Michigan.”

Slocum took over his command positions at the Harrison Township base Sunday.

He replaces Col. Philip R. Sheridan, who will continue to serve as the wing’s vice commander. Sheridan previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps and the Kansas Air National Guard as a pilot before becoming a member of the Michigan Air National Guard in 1996.

“Our Michigan Airmen take a back seat to no one when it comes to not only serving our nation, but doing so in a cost-efficient manner,” Sheridan said.

Sheridan was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal during Sunday’s ceremony.

Slocum, who joined the Air Force in 1984, previously served at the National Guard Bureau headquarters in Maryland. In 2013, he was inducted into the U.S. Air Force Safety Hall of Fame. He has logged most of his flying time in the F-4 Phantom and, since the early 1990s, the F-16 Falcon.

The 127th Wing flies the KC-135 Stratotanker and the A-10 Thunderbolt II, known as the “Warthog.” The aging A-10s are being targeted by the military for retirement.

The economic impact of payroll and operations at Selfridge is estimated to be more than $825 million annually, according to Sgt. Dan Heaton, public affairs officer for the 127th Wing.

Selfridge has been in operation for 97 years, according to Heaton.

“Selfridge has a rich history and is one of today’s preeminent installations in the United States,” Slocum said. “I have no doubt that Selfridge and the 127th have a bright future serving Michigan and our nation.”