Proos, Upton, Nofs urge Pentagon to choose Fort Custer in Battle Creek for new ballistic missile interceptor

LANSING—The Michigan Senate has adopted a resolution, introduced by Sen. Mike Nofs and co-sponsored by Sen. John Proos, urging the U.S. Department of Defense Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to select the Fort Custer Training Center in Battle Creek as the location for a new ballistic missile defense system.

“The Ground Based Interceptor missile defense system is important for the protection of our state and nation from attack,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Putting the interceptor system in Battle Creek would support the local economy and a strong national defense and enable the system to take advantage of Fort Custer’s tactical location and security.”

Senate Resolution 167 notes that the selection of Fort Custer for the Ground Based Interceptor (GBI) mission would also leverage more than $100 million in federal, state and local investments that have been made over the last decade.

“I am proud of the fact that Battle Creek’s military bases are some of the most up-to-date, technologically advanced guard bases in the nation,” said Nofs, R-Battle Creek. “I strongly encourage the Department of Defense and the Missile Defense Agency to take advantage of the space, technology and infrastructure available here when considering where to site its new missile defense installation.”

Proos said, “Fort Custer is a key part of the Southwest Michigan economy, providing more than $22 million in total wages and salaries and $26 million in gross regional product to Calhoun County. The selection of Battle Creek would also mean a $3.2 billion investment and 250 new jobs in a community with a strong tradition of embracing and supporting America’s service members, our veterans and their families.”

Proos said that the GBI program would not impact the successful Air National Guard, Army Reserve or National Guard Training Center missions or create a nuisance for neighbors.

“As hostile regimes like Iran and North Korea advance their long-range weapons programs, they pose an ever-growing threat to the United States and the security of its citizens. Strategically located between Detroit and Chicago, our region’s robust infrastructure and proud military tradition make Fort Custer the ideal site for this critical national security mission,” said Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph. “While ensuring our homeland remains protected, this project also means a multi-billion direct investment and the creation of hundreds of new jobs here in Southwest Michigan.”

SR 167 was adopted by the Senate on July 16 and copies are being sent to the director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, the U.S. secretary of defense and Michigan’s congressional delegation.

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Editor’s Note: Audio comments by Proos will be available later on the senator’s website at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Audio” under the Media Center tab.