Press "Enter" to skip to content

110th Attack Wing

110th Attack Wing [12]
The Michigan Air National Guard is the 110th Attack Wing and located in Battle Creek, Michigan. As most groups have a rich history of military background from the different squadrons they eventually make up the current group with the multiple planes they have flown. Much of the group has been changed over the past few years from going directly into combat to now being state-side and using drones to attack and survey the enemy.

The 110th Attack Wing was created during World War II. The 361st Fighter Group and 375th Fighter Squadron (FS) are located in Battle Creek, Michigan. The 110th Attack group was not official until 1956 when the 172nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS) was formed into the 110th Fighter Group. There is a lot of history regarding the many groups that contributed to the formation of the 110th Attack Wing.

The 172nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron flew the British Canberra from the 1960’s until the 1970’s. The Canberra impressed many American officials; when it was ordered it was locally produced as Martin B-57 [10]. These aircraft were used mostly in Vietnam and were modified before entering into combat. The engineers applied gloss black paint and added air-to-ground rockets, new bubble cockpits and installed ejection seats [8]. The engineers also created two new versions of the aircraft: RB-57D and WB-57F [8].

Martin B-57 Canberra [13]
The next aircraft they used after the Canberra was the O-2A Skymaster. The O-2A Skymaster was used for identifying and marking enemy targets with smoke rockets, coordinating air strikes and target damage reporting [3]. Like many of the aircrafts used by the group it saw the most action during Vietnam. The addition of rockets to the civilian model to create the military model was a significant modification[11]. These rockets could be armed with various explosives; however, white phosphorus heads were usually used [11]. The rounds would explode a highly visible white smoke making it very useful for marking targets for the attack fighters [11]. This aircraft was able to do a lot due to its small size and unique engine layout.

After using the Martin B-57 and the O-2A Skymaster they changed aircrafts to the Cessna A-37 Dragonfly. The A-37 was a light attack aircraft, and it brought jet-propelled fighting into combat in Vietnam [2]. The majority of the flying they did was close air support, night interdiction and forward air control missions in South Vietnam and southern Laos [2]. They had a maximum speed of 485 mph with a range of 270 miles carrying a 3,000 lb. load; this smaller aircraft was able to engage in missions that larger fighter planes could not undergo. The smaller craft gave them the advantage to provide air support where the enemies did not think was possible.

The attack wing switched planes from the Dragonfly to the A-10 Thunderbolt II in the 1990s. The Thunderbolt has excellent maneuverability in low air speeds and altitude and has a highly accurate weapon platform [7]. With the use of night vision goggles, the pilots are able to conduct missions in the dark [7]. The aircraft has received many different upgrades throughout the years, and in 1999 they received one of the most important upgrades by gaining Global Positioning System (GPS). By the early 2000s they received more crucial upgrades by an improved fire control system, electronic countermeasures, upgraded cockpit displays, ability to deliver smart bombs and many more [7]. By the addition of many different upgrades the Thunderbolt is still available for use in the military but has discontinued its operations with the attack group in 2009.

From 2009 until 2013 the group had used the C-21A Learjet, which is a twin turbofan-engine aircraft used for cargo and passenger airlift [1]. This aircraft is not meant to see or be in military action; rather, it is used for transporting patients in medical emergencies. When the group picked up the aircrafts they used them for bridge missions [1] which were a totally different kind of mission than what they were previously used for.

Colonel David Kennedy, of the 110th attack wing, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Award and was one of the most highly decorated pilots from the group [4]. He retired in 2007 and passed away in 2016 at the age of 53. He was awarded this honor because of his air support of U.S. Marines under attack in Baghdad, Iraq on April 10, 2003 [4]. He performed many selfless acts as he went to support the Marines to save his fellow comrades from being killed by the enemies. In today’s world he is a hero for saving the lives of many people who fight for our freedom. If it was not for his acts, many parents, wives, children and families would have received the terrible news that their loved ones were killed in the line of duty; something no one should ever experience.

Today the group has transitioned from flying aircrafts to flying drone aircrafts all over the world. They are capable of doing this using satellite and datalink technology. This new technology brings a new type of aircraft and job skills. According to Al Jones of MLive [5] the unmanned drone will have a team of 300 guardsmen dedicated to remotely flying the MQ-9 Reaper into combat during air surveillance situations.

The MQ-9 Reaper coming to Battle Creek will make it one of 12 U.S. military bases able to fly this aircraft. This aircraft will help reduce the fear of being shot down in combat. When interviewed Col. Bryan Teff did not like the word “drone” because the MQ-9 is actually certified by the Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly overseas and in the United States air space.

MQ-9 Reaper [14]
Back in December 2015, and according to Al Jones of MLive, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that a new Cyber Operations Squadron will be added making it one of four locations throughout the United States [6]. The new squadron is selected to detect breaches and attacks to U.S. computers, Internet and other systems that hackers may hack in attempts to steal valuable information.

The attack wing went from being in operation at the beginning of time to transitioning to a behind the scenes position. They are more focused on trying to stay state-side while flying and surveying enemy territory unmanned. They have also gone and made sure our computer systems could not be hacked or breached; if our systems hacked our aircrafts could do many different things such as being taken over by enemies and having no control over what they do with the craft. Once finding a weak spot in the system hackers may find other weak spots in our security and use it against us. Having both of these technologies together at one location can benefit each other because the information can be relayed to the other when a breach happens which would be quicker than having to get on the phone or needing other devices to relay the message.

Learning about the 110th Attack Wing gives you a better understanding about how our military has changed throughout the years. One of the most interesting things about the military is seeing how they have transformed their uses for aircrafts from using fighter crafts to using everyday business jets. After all, the military can modify anything they want to fit to their specific needs. Today we realize that the majority of their aircrafts are now controlled from a home base such as the MQ-9.


Primary Sources

[1] “C-21.” U.S. Air Force, U.S. Air Force, May 2014,

[2] “Cessna A-37 Dragonfly.” National Museum of the US Air Force™, 15 May 2015,

[3]“Cessna O-2A Skymaster.” National Museum of the US Air Force™, U.S. Air Force, 18 May 2015,

[4] Christenson, Trace. “Military Honor Presented to Family of B.C. Pilot.” Battle Creek Enquirer, Battle Creek Enquirer, 6 July 2017,
[5] “Home.” 110th Attack Wing, Air National Guard,

[6] Jones, Al. “Battle Creek Air Guard Prepares for Drone Aircraft Operations in 2017.”,, 25 Oct. 2016,

Secondary Sources

[7] “A-10 Thunderbolt II.”,,
Alex, Dan. “English Electric Canberra High-Altitude Medium Bomber / Reconnaissance Aircraft.” Military Weapons, 19 June 2017,
[8] Alex, Dan. “English Electric Canberra High-Altitude Medium Bomber / Reconnaissance Aircraft.” Military Weapons, 19 June 2017,
[9] Joiner, Stephen. “Legends of Vietnam: Super Tweet.” Air & Space Magazine, Jan. 2010,
[10] “Lockheed Martin at a Glance.” B-57 · Lockheed Martin, 2012,
[11] “O-2A Skymaster .” O-2 Skymaster,
[12] 110th Attack Wing. Digital Image. “Home.” 110th Attack Wing,
[13] Martin B-57 Canberra. Digital Image. “Martin B-57 Canberra.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 8 Nov. 2017,
[14] MQ-9 Reaper. Digital Image.“General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Nov. 2017,