ALGER COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – The Michigan Air National Guard (ANG) has announced it will partner with Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), and other local agencies to host an exercise in the U.P. this summer called “Northern Agility 22-1″.

The exercise will take place from June 27-29 and will require a temporary closure of a section of M-28 on June 28. MDOT will close a 9,000 foot sections of M-28 east of Munising from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 28, during which eastbound traffic will be detoured on H-58 to H-15 and back to M-28. The route will be reversed for westbound traffic.

ANG says Northern Agility 22-1 will feature aircraft called A-10 Thunderbolt II, AFSOC MC-12W and U-28A conducting agile combat employment at Sawyer International Airport and on the closed portion of M-28. The exercise will focus on contested logistics and the ability to conduct Integrated Combat Turns (ICTs) in an austere environment. It is conducted under the Air Force’s Agile Combat Employment (ACE) doctrine.

“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 a 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.

The Michigan ANG says it will be possible to view low-flying aircraft from Munising. Previously, A-10s from the Michigan ANG and U.S. Air Force landed safely on a closed portion of M-32 near Alpena during the Michigan National Guard’s exercise “Northern Strike” in August of 2021.

The landing zone on M-28 for the exercise will be 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. Outside of the six-hour closure, staging and additional training will take place at Sawyer International Airport.

“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,” Teff said. “The proximity of numerous civilian airports to Michigan’s unique training airspace and ranges help make northern Michigan a premier ACE training location.”

Additionally, Hanley Field airport in Alger County will be closed to all civilian air traffic during the June 27-29 period. Foot traffic will also not be allowed on the airport property during the same period.