Delegation Defense Tour Highlights Importance of Michigan’s Military Installations and Missions

Thursday, September 03, 2015

The Michigan Congressional delegation traveled across the state this week on the first-ever defense tour of Michigan's military installations. The bipartisan Member tour, hosted by the Michigan Army and Air National Guard and the U.S. Army TACOM Lifecycle Management Command, helped strengthen the delegation's understanding of Michigan's defense assets and identified new opportunities and partnerships to grow Michigan's defense interests and create jobs. The tour also showcased the importance of Michigan's defense assets, research and technologies, and our military's role nationally, across our state, and in our communities.

"Our delegation continues to work together on areas where we all have common interests, like supporting Michigan's military installations and missions vital to our nation's security," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow. "This bipartisan tour gave Members a unique opportunity to say thank you to the outstanding men and women who serve us in defense of our country while learning about Michigan's impressive defense assets. We also recommitted ourselves to continue partnering to protect our current missions and identify new opportunities that will create jobs."

"Supporting our Michigan military missions and installations is crucial for our nation's security and for Michigan jobs," said Rep. Fred Upton. "This unique, bipartisan tour was a great opportunity to say thank you to our men and women in uniform, their families, and to learn firsthand about our defense assets. I look forward to continuing to work in a bipartisan manner with all of my Michigan colleagues as we push to protect current missions and look down the line to future opportunities that position Michigan as a vital component in our nation's defense."

"Detroit put the world on wheels and today, right in our back yard, TACOM and TARDEC keep our nation's military on wheels through the impressive work they do on ground systems," said Rep. Sandy Levin. "As the Army's center for research and development in advanced technology ground systems, TACOM and TARDEC demonstrate the synergies between the military and the auto industry, and continue to boost manufacturing and jobs in our state.

"Over the last two days, I had the unique opportunity to see, firsthand, how Michigan's military installations, including Selfridge ANGB, which I am so proud to represent, are utilizing comprehensive defense components to ensure the security of our Homeland," said Rep. Candice Miller. "Michigan's brave servicemen and women continue to play a critical role in our nation's national defense, at home and abroad, and I look forward to continuing to work to expand and enhance the defense capabilities housed in Michigan."

"Home to Camp Grayling and the Alpena Combat Readiness Center, Michigan's First District has strong ties to our nation's defense," said Rep. Dan Benishek. "Additionally, over 11% of our residents are veterans, making Northern Michigan one of the top districts for vets. I look forward to meeting again with the many great people involved with these facilities that are so important to keeping our nation safe."

"This bipartisan tour provided vital insight into how Michigan's military instillations defend our nation and support missions happening across the globe," said Rep. Bill Huizenga. "With Michigan's strong manufacturing base, our state is well positioned to play an even greater role to support the needs of our armed forces. However, in order to do that, the conversation in Washington must change from reducing military spending to ensuring our men and women in uniform have the resources necessary to protect our nation and complete their mission."

"Since southeast Michigan earned worldwide renown as the ‘Arsenal of Democracy' during World War II, our state has played a critical role in supporting military readiness and our national defense," said Rep. Debbie Dingell. "This defense tour provided a valuable opportunity for our delegation to personally thank the men and women in uniform who keep us safe and to better understand how the work that is happening in Michigan supports their mission. The Michigan delegation - Republicans and Democrats - are committed to working together to protect the valuable work being done here and ensure the unique assets of the auto industry, research institutions, and military research and development centers are integrated to ensure we stay at the forefront of national defense."

Members of the Michigan delegation travelled together to Selfridge Air National Guard Base; U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command at the Detroit Arsenal; Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center; Battle Creek Air National Guard Base; and Fort Custer Training Center. The tour gave military commanders an opportunity to brief Members on current missions and defense assets and demonstrate the critical work happening on the ground at military installations across the state.

Members were also briefed by the Michigan Defense Center, which is leading a comprehensive, state-wide strategic planning process to protect and grow Michigan's defense interests. Part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Defense Center is the State of Michigan's strategic and coordinating body for defense and homeland security economic issues. According to the Center, defense and homeland security is a multi-billion dollar sector of Michigan's economy, supporting over 51,000 private sector jobs. For more information, visit