No, your eyes aren't deceiving you, those are military planes taking off and landing on a Michigan highway.

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Today the Michigan 127th Fighter Squadron conducted readiness exercises that included takeoffs and landings on M-32 near Alpena.

The road was shut down for what M-DOT called a 'special event'. That's an understated way to put a military exercise that saw a strip of road from M-65 to Bagley St become a makeshift runway throughout the morning today.

The exercises are part of Excercise Spartan. Brig. Gen. Rolf E. Mammen, 127th Wing and Selfridge Air National Guard Base commander says the two weeks are an opportunity to evaluate combat operations in a contested and degraded environment:

Exercise Spartan is our opportunity to practice our warfighting excellence. This is what we are training every day to accomplish...This is a big deal, where we’re going to be executing combat capability, not only under the eyes of our own local inspector general’s office, but the Air Combat Command and Air Mobility Command’s inspector generals will be here as well to observe our operation from start to finish.

Spanning over two weeks and executed in multiple phases, the first of which includes personnel deployment out-processing, troop and equipment movement from home station to Alpena CRTC.

After the exercise is complete, all inspector general team members inspecting the exercise will complete and submit reports, grading the 127th Wing unit as a whole, providing insight for further training focus.

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