Most highway landings are unplanned but there’s a lot of preparation going on for a military exercise in Michigan next month. The military is planning to set four A-10s and two C-146 (military Dornier 328s) down on a stretch of State Highway M-32 near the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center in northern Michigan on Aug. 5. It’s part of a demonstration on how reserve and active duty units can work together to keep aircraft in the air in challenging environments.
The road will be closed for five hours and is part of Exercise Northern Strike, a big multifaceted operation involving a lot of different military elements. “This is believed to be the first time in history that modern Air Force aircraft have intentionally landed on a civilian roadway on U.S. soil,” said U.S. Air Force Col. James Rossi, Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center commander. “Our efforts are focused on our ability to train the warfighter in any environment across the continuum so our nation can compete, deter, and win today and tomorrow.” A-10s have landed on a highway in Estonia in an exercise there in 2018.