Motorcycle Tour Day 5: Peters Touts Efforts to Strengthen National Security in Grand Rapids and Grand Ledge

GRAND LEDGE, MI On the fifth and final day of his fourth annual motorcycle tour across Michigan, U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) stopped at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids and Michigan National Guard’s Grand Ledge Armory to discuss efforts to strengthen national security. At the airport, Peters participated in a demonstration of border security screening procedures with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officers and K9s. Peters then rode to the Michigan National Guard’s Grand Ledge Armory, where he met with National Guardsmen, toured the Armory’s aviation facility and highlighted Michigan’s expanding defense sector.

“Businesses across Michigan and throughout the nation depend on the secure flow of goods and travelers through our state’s ports of entry, like Ford International Airport,” said Senator Peters, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. “It was a pleasure to see firsthand how the men and women and canines of Customs and Border Protection ensure the efficient flow of travelers and goods, stop illicit drugs and keep our communities safe. I’m leading bipartisan efforts to address staffing shortages at our nation’s ports of entry, and I will continue working with my colleagues in Washington to see them signed into law.”

“Growing regional airports like ours process millions of travelers and tons of commercial goods, and our customers depend on safe, speedy and reliable service,” said Brian Picardat, Interim President and CEO of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority. “As we work to expand our international service and build a Federal Inspection Station, we need assurances that staffing shortages at Customs and Border Protection won’t hinder our growth. We’re grateful for Senator Peters’ leadership on these issues and his commitment to hiring the personnel needed to provide international service and keep the West Michigan community safe and secure for years to come.” 




To download high-resolution photos or for additional photos from Peters’ stop at the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, click here.

Through his leadership on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Peters is working to strengthen border security and address the shortages of Customs and Border Protection Officers across the country. Michigan is home to some of the nation’s busiest ports of entry, and the state’s economy relies on secure and efficient international trade and travel. Peters has introduced two bipartisan bills that have advanced to the full Senate – the Securing America’s Ports of Entry Act of 2019  and the Protecting America’s Food & Agriculture Act of 2019 to secure our borders by hiring additional CBP Officers, agricultural inspectors and support staff every year until the agency’s workforce needs are met.

After spending time in Grand Rapids, Peters then traveled to the Michigan National Guard’s Grand Ledge Armory where he had a chance to talk with servicemembers and hear about the work they are doing to contribute to our national security.

“Michigan plays a vital role in protecting America’s national security, through the dedication of our servicemen and women to the innovative work of defense manufacturers and researchers,” said Senator Peters, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a former Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. “I appreciated the opportunity to meet the dedicated Guardsmen at the Grand Ledge Armory, and I will continue working in a bipartisan manner to ensure our servicemembers have the resources they need and secure funding to continue boosting Michigan’s defense sector that employs thousands across our state and contributes to our security here at home.”

“The Michigan Department of Military and Veteran Affairs is honored that Senator Gary Peters is taking the time on his motorcycle tour of Michigan, to visit our Michigan National Guard facilities in Grand Ledge and Lansing, to talk with our Airmen, Soldiers and Civilians,” said Maj. Gen. Paul D. Rogers. “Congressional support of initiatives to provide for both our Soldiers and Veterans, allows us to maintain a high state of readiness as we continue to fight adversaries around the world, while also protecting the homeland here in Michigan. With this support, our 11,000 Soldiers, Airmen, and civilians, with six major installations and more than 45 armories located across the state stand ready to assist the Unites States and people of Michigan - anytime, anywhere.” 



To download high-resolution photos or for additional photos from Peters’ stop at the Grand Ledge Armory, click here.

Peters has long supported efforts in Congress to support Michigan servicemembers and bolster Michigan’s defense sector. Peters authored provisions that passed the Senate in June as part of the National Defense Authorization Act that would strengthen Michigan’s defense footprint. The legislation also includes a 3.1% a pay raise for servicemembers.

Throughout the motorcycle tour, Peters highlighted issues important to Michigan, including closing the skills gap and expanding apprenticeships, supporting veterans, preserving the Great Lakes as an economic engine and major source of drinking water, and strengthening our national defense and border security. Over the past five days, Peters traveled more than 1,000 miles and made stops in Farmington Hills, Flint, Escanaba, Marquette County and Traverse City.