Alpena Combat Training Center receives NDAA funding

The Alpena Combat Training Center in Alpena County will receive National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, funding for fiscal year 2022.

According to the Michigan Department of Military Affairs and Veterans Affairs, elements of the NDAA signed by President Biden will support the state’s defense sector economy and support Michigan’s military, veterans and their families.

This includes $ 23 million to support the infrastructure of the Alpena Combat Readiness Center.

“Our country has long relied on Michigan to support our national defense both through the dedicated service of the countless men and women serving in our armed forces and through the innovative work done through our well-established military and defense industries.” , Governor Gretchen Whitmer said. . “The National Defense Bill promulgated by President Biden helps us put the Michiganders first by planning $ 144 million in military construction projects, increasing military pay and ensuring access to resources for the military in transition, their families and the nearly 600,000 veterans who call Michigan home. . “

“The Alpena Region Chamber of Commerce is very pleased that the National Defense Authorization Act includes funding of $ 23 million for the construction of infrastructure for the Alpena Combat Training Center . The Alpena CRTC has always been vitally important to Northeast Michigan and a great community partner, ”said Adam Poll, President and CEO, Alpena Regional Chamber of Commerce. “This additional funding will allow the Alpena CRTC to continue its advanced training opportunities with the most technologically advanced aircraft in the world. The Alpena CRTC has always been a strong supporter of Alpena, and we are very pleased that this infrastructure investment will allow our partnership with Alpena CRTC to continue for years to come.

The NDAA, according to the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, includes nearly $ 144 million in investment for the construction of new military facilities across the state.

This includes $ 28 million in improvements to Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Macomb County, $ 16 million in facility improvements at Camp Grayling Maneuver Readiness Center in Crawford County and $ 10 million in dollars in facility upgrades at Battle Creek Air National Base in Calhoun County.

Camp Grayling also received $ 5.7 million under the Energy Resilience and Conservation Investment Program, which builds a natural gas-fired power generation facility.

“It puts us back on the map when it comes to investing in the defense industry,” said Col. Scott L. Meyers, Camp Grayling installation commander. “These are also jobs. All of these projects are construction jobs, these are new technologies, so from a local point of view this brings labor not only for construction but also the economic impact for those who use these. spaces.

In addition, NDAA is providing $ 12 million for the construction of an Army Reserve Center in Southfield and $ 49.09 million for a new Naval Operations Support Center in Battle Creek.

“The projects and initiatives included in this year’s NDAA are huge gains for our state. These investments will enable the next chapter in Michigan’s long and significant history as a center of innovation for our nation’s national defense, ”said US Army Major-General Paul D. Rogers, Adjutant General and Director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. . “I would like to thank our entire Congressional delegation and in particular the members who sit on the House and Senate Armed Forces committees for their work in securing these investments which will empower the men and women of the National Guard. Michigan state-of-the-art facilities that they must continue to provide incredible service to our communities, to our state and to our nation. ”

In addition to investments in military construction, the NDAA includes support for the state’s defense and advanced technology sector to include the following:

  • $ 5 million in funding for new research into additive manufacturing
  • $ 7 million in funding for research into composite production practices
  • Provision allowing research and engineering of electric and alternative fuel vehicles.

The Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs says the funding will help “ensure that research and development for these vehicles is conducted in Michigan, helping to create well-paying jobs and keep the state on the cutting edge.” mobility ”.

The Michigan Department of Military Affairs and Veterans Affairs further states that another element of the NDAA includes language prohibiting the removal of the A-10 Warthog Fighter. Officials say the 107th Fighter Squadron, an A-10 Warthog squadron assigned to Selfridge Air National Guard Base, will continue its mission in the next fiscal year.

“The National Defense Bill is essential to maintain our competitiveness on the world stage, especially as other nations, such as the Chinese government, seek to expand their influence,” said Senator Gary Peters, former Lieutenant Commander of the US Navy Reserve and member of the US Navy. the Senate Armed Forces Committee. “I am pleased that this bipartisan bill has been enacted – which not only helps solidify the Department of Defense’s commitment to Michigan – but provides for a salary increase for the military, helps combat contamination by PFAS and supports innovative military research and development taking place in Michigan. “

Finally, the NDAA includes provisions to support service members, veterans and their families.

This includes a 2.7% salary increase for military service members and civilian staff of the Ministry of Defense, a 3-year pilot program that allows TRI-CARE beneficiaries to receive their medication from a pharmacy in retail network rather than having to get their drugs from drugstores on military bases or relying on the USPS.

The Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs also said it was creating a needs allowance to help low-income military families “put food on the table.”

Additionally, the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs said additional language has been added to the NDAA to support DOD’s Transition Assistance program and will ensure service members and their families are connected to local community groups, including Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), which can provide employment, health care, and other services.

According to the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, $ 42 million in funding has been allocated to STARBASE, a DOD youth program that promotes STEM education.

They say Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township was the first STARBASE program established in the United States and provides K-12 students with experiential learning experiences, simulations and experiments in the fields of aviation and space.

The Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs says the bill is $ 768.2 billion. It also authorizes an additional $ 9.9 billion for defense needs outside the purview of the bill, bringing the overall bill total to $ 777 billion.

They say other elements of the bill include $ 476 million to address PFAS contamination, including environmental remediation and restoration, the establishment of a PFAS task force and public disclosure of PFAS water contamination test results.

It also compiles a report that describes efforts to address PFAS exposure at 50 sites across the United States. This includes the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base and the State’s KI Sawyer Air Force Base.

“As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am proud of the work done in supporting our Michigan National Guard in the FY22 NDAA,” said Rep. Jack Bergman. “Making critical investments in Michigan stocks and including language supporting Exercise Operation: Northern Strike right here in the First District were top priorities. I am grateful that we were able to bring the NDAA back to a two-party business and achieve great victories for Michigan’s First District.

For more details on NDAA, click here.

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Milton S. Rodgers