The Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center in Alpena County will be receiving funds from the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, for the 2022 fiscal year.
According to the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, elements of the NDAA signed by President Biden will support the state’s defense sector economy and support Michigan’s service members, veterans, and their families.
This includes $23 million to support infrastructure at Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center.
“Our country has long counted on Michigan to support our national defense both through the dedicated service of the countless men and women serving in our armed forces and the innovative work being done through our well-established military and defense industries,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “The national defense bill signed into law by President Biden helps us put Michiganders first by providing for $144 million in military construction projects, increasing military pay and ensuring access to resources for transitioning service members, their families and the nearly 600,000 veterans that call Michigan home.”
“The Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce is very pleased that the National Defense Authorization Act includes $23 million in funding to build out infrastructure for the Alpena Combat Readiness 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 Area Chamber of Commerce. “This additional funding will allow the Alpena CRTC to continue their cutting-edge training opportunities with the most technologically advanced aircraft in the world. The Alpena CRTC has always been a great supporter of Alpena, and we are very happy this infrastructure investment will allow our partnership with the 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 investments for construction of new military facilities across the state.
This includes $28 million in upgrades at 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 facility improvements at Battle Creek Air National Base in Calhoun County.
Camp Grayling also received $5.7 million through the Energy Resilience and Conservation Investment Program, which allows for the construction of a natural gas energy generation facility.
“It puts us back on the map as far as being invested in the defense industry,” said Col. Scott L. Meyers, Camp Grayling Installation Commander. “It’s also jobs. All these projects are construction jobs, they’re new technologies, so from a local perspective it brings in labor not only for the construction, but then the economic impact for those that are utilizing those spaces.”
Furthermore, the NDAA provides $12 million to construct 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 wins for our state. These investments will empower the next chapter of Michigan’s long and meaningful history as a center of innovation for our country’s national defense,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “I’d like to thank our entire congressional delegation and especially those members who serve on the House and Senate Armed Services committees for their work to secure these investments which will give the men and women of the Michigan National Guard the cutting-edge facilities they need to continue their incredible service to our communities, state and nation.”
In addition to military construction investments, the NDAA includes support for the state’s defense and advanced technology sector to include the following:
- $5 million in funding for further research additive manufacturing
- $7 million in funding for research into composite production practices
- Provision that authorized the research and engineering of electric and alternative fuel vehicles.
The Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs says the funding will help, “ensure research and development for these vehicles is conducted in Michigan, helping to create good-paying jobs and keeping the state at the forefront of mobility.”
The Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs further states that another component of the NDAA includes language that prohibits the retirement 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 into the next fiscal year.
“The national defense bill is critical to maintaining our competitiveness on the global stage – particularly as other nations, like the Chinese government, look to expand their influence,” said Senator Gary Peters, a former Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I’m pleased this bipartisan bill was signed into law – which not only helps solidify the Department of Defense’s commitment to Michigan – but provides a pay raise for servicemembers, helps address PFAS contamination and supports innovative military research and development that’s happening in Michigan.”
Lastly, the NDAA includes provisions to support service members, veterans and their families.
This includes a 2.7% pay raise for both military service members and the civilian Department of Defense workforce, a 3-year pilot program which enables TRI-CARE beneficiaries to receive their medications from an in-network, retail pharmacy rather than having to obtain their medicine from pharmacies at military bases or relying on USPS.
Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs also says it creates a needs allowance to help low-income military families, “put food on the table.”
Furthermore, the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs says additional language was added to the NDAA to support the DOD Transition Assistance Program, and will ensure that service members and their families are connected to local community groups, including veteran service organizations (VSOs), that can provide employment, healthcare and other services.
According to the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, $42 million in funding was allocated for 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 experiences in experiential learning, simulations and experiments in aviation and space-related fields.
The Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs says the bill totals $768.2 billion. It also authorizes an additional $9.9 billion for defense needs outside of the bill’s jurisdiction, bringing the overall total of the bill to $777 billion.
They say other components of the bill includes $476 million to address PFAS contamination to include environmental remediation and restoration, the creation of a PFAS Task Force, and mandates public disclosure of PFAS water contamination test results.
It also establishes a report that outlines efforts to remediate PFAS exposure at 50 sites across the U.S. This includes the state’s former Wurtsmith Air Force Base and K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base.
“As a member of the House Armed Services Committee I’m proud of the work done to support our Michigan National Guard in the FY22 NDAA,” said Rep. Jack Bergman. “Making critical investments in Michigan equities and including language supporting the Operation: Northern Strike exercise right here in the First District were top priorities. I’m grateful we were able to return the NDAA to a bipartisan endeavor and drive big wins for Michigan’s First District.”
For more details about the NDAA, click here.