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ICYMI: Peters Secures Funding to Establish Center to Coordinate Northern Border Security

Center to be Collocated with DHS Components Currently Operating at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Macomb County

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, secured $3 million to establish and operate a Northern Border Coordination Center, which will be collocated with existing Department of Homeland Security (DHS) components currently operating out of Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Macomb County. These resources, which were included in the recent government funding legislation that was signed into law, will be used to kick start the center. The center is directed to support coordination across DHS and key partners to identify and address security needs along the entire Northern Border. This comes after Peters  advanced bipartisan legislation in the Senate to further expand the operations and duties of the center.   

The Detroit News: Spending bill includes funding for northern border security center at Selfridge 

“A draft government spending bill released early Thursday includes the first funding for a new center to coordinate northern border security, with its likely home at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Macomb County.

“A U.S. Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill published overnight includes $3 million for the center to be agency's "centralized coordination center for operations, domain awareness, information sharing, intelligence, training and stakeholder engagement" with state, local and international governmental partners along the northern border, according to an explanatory document accompanying the spending bill.

“It adopts language proposed in legislation by Sens. Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township, and Susan Collins, R-Maine, that is written in such a way that only Selfridge would qualify as the site of the center because of the various DHS components and personnel that it must be situated with.

“The center has to be located along the northern border at the same site as an existing U.S. Border Patrol sector headquarters, the U.S. Border Patrol Northern Border Coordination Center, an Air and Marine operations branch of the Customs & Border Protection and a U.S. Coast Guard air station, according to the document text.

“The center is meant to serve as a "coordination mechanism" for the implementation, evaluation and updating of the northern border strategy, as a training site and a testing ground for border security technology, as well as to support drone aircraft systems operating along the border.

“The $3 million in funding, secured by Peters as chair the Senate homeland security committee, will be directed to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to start standing up operations at the center.

“‘The federal funding I secured to establish a Northern Border Coordination Center will help the Department of Homeland Security prioritize the needs of the Northern Border and build on the critical role Selfridge Air National Guard Base plays in protecting our nation,’ Peters said in a statement. 

“‘I’ll continue working to ensure that Michigan and assets like Selfridge remain at the forefront of our nation’s homeland and national security missions.’

“The new center could be a significant benefit for Selfridge, whose future is unsettled with the expected retirement of the A-10 squadron there, starting in 2026.”

Peters – who drilled at Selfridge Air National Guard Base while serving in the U.S. Navy Reserve – has repeatedly fought to secure the future of the base. This effort to establish Selfridge as a hub for northern border security operations comes after Peters announced in January that the U.S. Air Force selected Selfridge to host a new squadron of twelve KC-46A refueling tankers. Prior to this announcement, Peters led a bipartisan, bicameral group of Michigan delegation members in urging U.S. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall to select Selfridge for a new squadron of these next-generation tankers, which will be deployed by the U.S. Air Force for the next 50 years.